IES Blog

Becoming a temporary worker can be liberating

Posted on July 14th, 2014 Read time: 2 minutes

Business Review Weekly recently wrote of a global trend away from working for large companies and toward freelancing. A great way to freelance is through a middleman – namely an employer of record. By using an employer of record, people can work for companies at their own choosing, choosing who they want to work for, for how long and other details. This gives employees the freedom so many people want. In exchange, they are technically employed by a staffing company, and after a certain number of amount of time on the job, they are eligible for employee benefits like workers in other companies. This allows for a kind of "best of both worlds" situation.

The so-called "free-agent nation", according to BRW, was first described 16 years ago by U.S. management writer Daniel Pink. Free agents work for themselves – either as contract labor or temporary workers. Although the stereotype is many of these free agents want to be employed by a long-term company, in fact, many of them don't. In a poll of free agents made by recruitment company Hayes, a third of free agents prefer the home/life balance and the flexibility that comes with temping.

The desire for a flexible working life and the ability to serve many companies may be the driving force behind the new trend in employee turnover. According to the Sun Star, millennials in particular have a much higher turnover rate than other generations. This may be due to the recession that affected many of them when they started working. There were many people who couldn't find the jobs they wanted after the landscape changed, and now that things are getting better, many millennials are jumping ship.

Perhaps the younger generation might do better as temporary workers than as a group that moves from job to job. According to the Star, many HR directors don't yet feel comfortable hiring someone who "job hops" from one employer to another. By working for a temporary staffing agency, this stigma can be avoided even while employees can earn a variety of skills and experience.

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