The Pros and Cons of a Contingent Workforce

Are you considering hiring a contingent workforce? If so, you are not alone.

Across the United States, employment of contingent workers has been rising steadily, and many business owners are now finding that contingents are simply too valuable to pass up.

But before you decide to hire a contingent workforce, you need to consider all of the available information. If you are currently weighing the pros and cons of a contingent workforce, this short and simple listing may be what you need.

Let’s take a look.

What Is a Contingent Workforce?

A contingent workforce is a form of workforce that is hired for a limited time and on an “as needed” basis. This type of workforce is usually outside of a company’s full-time staff and is not an employee of the company.

These workers are used to fill short-term vacancies, manage temporary tasks, and often come with special skills and experience that can provide needed expertise in a particular field.

Types of Contingent Workers

Contingent workers can vary greatly and can include the following:


Freelancers are independent contractors. They provide services, such as writing or accounting, to multiple employers.

Independent Contractors

Independent contractors are usually hired to provide specialized skills that a company doesn’t have. This may be web design or IT services.

Temporary Workers

They are usually hired to fill short-term roles. They may work as administrative assistants or customer service representatives.

Seasonal Workers

Seasonal workers are hired during peak times. An example could be a retail store increasing its staff for the holiday season to serve customers better.

Pros of Having a Contingent Workforce

Contingent workers provide flexibility to quickly fill staffing gaps due to changing or seasonal business needs. They are also cost-effective since employers only pay for exactly what they need and when they need it.

With a contingent workforce, employers can focus more on their core competencies. They can do this by outsourcing back office support roles as needed.

Besides, contingent workers give employers access to a skilled talent pool. These workers have the latest industry knowledge and technology expertise.

They can handle specific tasks without disrupting workflow. There’ll be no need to take on more staff.

Cons of Having a Contingent Workforce

A contingent workforce can be beneficial to businesses in certain environments. However, there are some drawbacks to having one too.

The first con is the lack of knowledge and expertise in areas specific to the company. Most contingent workers are not long-term employees and may not be completely aware of the ins and outs of the business.

Having a contingent workforce can also lead to a decreased sense of loyalty and commitment to the company. Most contingent workers are motivated mainly by money and not a long-term deep connection.

Additionally, there may be difficulty in keeping these workers up to date on changes in company policies, processes, and practices.

Finally, hiring a contingent worker may cost more in the long term. It’s because they typically require higher pay for shorter pieces of work.

Is Contingent Workforce Right for Your Business?

Determining whether or not having a contingent workforce is right for your business is a highly individualized decision. Weigh the pros and cons carefully and take into consideration the size and complexity of your organization.

When you’re ready, consider talking to a staffing expert to help navigate a contingent workforce strategy for your business.

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