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Contingent Workforce Trend, Shift to Short Job Tenure Continues in 2014

The shift to a contingent workforce and corporate and business optimization through temporary staffing is having an enduring effect on the job market. Subsequently, it has had an effect on you.

Make no mistake, it has shifted permanently – and will not shift back to any semblance of the industrial era with its lifetime employment with retirement pensions. Analysts predict that in less than a decade this shift will continue to a yet even more unrecognizable state for nearly every industry.

This shift is not necessarily a bad thing. More likely for most, it is only uncomfortable because it is change. Humans don’t like change. They prefer steady and predictable situations and work environments.

The new generation increasingly leading the way has never known “steady” or “predictable” growing up with the pace of change in the last two decades. Ask yourself, “How many models of iPhones has the typical 27 year old owned?” that will give you an idea of the pace of change.

Likewise, people today have resume tenure in one position often no more than 12 months, and quite often, even less.

This is a big change for hiring managers to absorb. They must learn to hire using performance-based qualification. That is, on the candidates ability to “perform the job – tomorrow”, not the candidates past history of performing the job for the last 5 years like experience-based hiring has taught us.

Young employees today don’t want to be hired from one employer, to another employer to do the same thing that has bored them enough to make them look for more challenging work. Hiring managers and human resources professionals need to know this or expect to contribute to the corporate turnover rate, and eventually their own poor performance evaluation.

Employers have driven this shift as well. Seasonal operations, fluctuating demand for goods and services, as well as financial and operational performance optimization has driven companies to seek temporary workers for roles that would have been full-time-equivalent positions on the annual payroll two decades ago.

The benefits of this shift have had a profound affect on the economy, and the ability of many industries to survive. The lessons have been learned, and the use of temporary staffing and contingent workforces is only going to increase. Looking at applicants and candidates through this lens of job-tenure will ensure the best employers hire the best employees to perform tomorrow’s work at the required pace of change.