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Temp Workers are the Cool, New Workforce

Catherine Lang-Cline

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So it seems that business are starting to see work again. During the recession everyone grew lean and cut overhead in the form of staff. Now it might be time to bring people back. Here’s the thing, in that window of time while businesses were struggling and people were laid off, the workforce has changed entirely.

First of all, during the worst of the worst, the unemployed needed to work. And people who have always had full-time jobs became consultants. They accepted jobs in project form and grew to love the flexibility. Many of these people will never return to 9-5 jobs.

Secondly, Generation X has matured into managerial roles. But Generation X has always been very comfortable operating as independent contractors or freelancers. Businesses are finding out that this group of very talented people are working to live, rather then living to work. No one wants the 60-hour-plus workweek anymore.

These two scenarios are making it difficult for companies to not only find great talent, but also find people for more senior roles. The Baby Boomers will eventually retire and there is no one to fill the seats left open.

So what does a company do? Embrace it! It is really not all that difficult if you know and follow some of the new rules. First, you need to find people. Sometimes in the same way you had been. Don’t be afraid to ask colleagues who they have used in the past. And don’t be afraid to engage a staffing company. If using independent contractors or freelancers makes the most sense, you need to be aware of all of the tax issues. Either way, you will have a workforce that you can essentially engage as needed. No firing, no benefits to provide, just use your team (and pay for your team) as needed.

There are some companies that have found so much success in doing this that half of their company or more is made up of non-employees. It may seem unusual, but it is becoming more the norm. The new workforce is more flexible and all you need to do plug in.

This article may be reprinted when the copyright and author bio are included. ©2012 Catherine Lang-Cline, Portfolio Creative, LLC.

Catherine is co-founder and owner of Portfolio Creative, an Inc. 5000 fastest growing firm for the past three years. Portfolio Creative connects clients with talent in all areas of design, marketing, communications and advertising and was ranked the 16th fastest growing staffing firm in the U. S. by Staffing Industry Analysts. More information is posted at


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