Recruiting for Alternative Roles


The standard Monday-through-Friday, 9-to-5 office job is quickly changing. Today, instead of seeking traditional, full-time jobs, many employees are turning to contingent jobs. These jobs vary drastically from one company to another and even between various individuals. Let’s explore how these positions affect the workforce and recruiting, as well as what to expect in the future.

How Contingent Jobs Are Affecting the Workforce

Alternative roles are usually short-term and may be independent contractor or freelance positions. Recruiting can be difficult because the jobs offer no benefits and do not guarantee set work hours.

However, many workers and companies want the freedom and flexibility that these positions provide. In fact, one survey found that 61% of employers plan to replace at least 30% of their current permanent positions with contingent jobs.

How Alternative Roles Are Affecting Recruitment

The growth and popularity of contingent roles are drastically shifting the entire hiring process. Contingent employees usually only work for a short period of time, often completing just a quick assignment or project. Typically, if you are hiring for a freelance or contract position, you will need someone who can complete the work right away and do a good job. Most likely, little — if any — training sessions will be involved. Thus, do not prioritize finding individuals who will be engaged and invested in your company, willing to grow, and willing to be trained. Instead, focus on individuals’ skills and experience.

What’s the Future of Contingent Jobs?

Many organizations agree that alternative jobs are the future of the workforce. In a 2017 Contingent Workforce Study survey, 90% of the organizations surveyed said they use contingent workers, and more than 50% plan to increase these positions in the upcoming years. This is due to several factors, including:

  • Companies save money because they don’t have to pay employee benefits and salaries.
  • Less training and work is required.
  • Advancements in technology offer more flexibility in assignments, scheduling, communication, etc.
  • Workers in the upcoming generation desire a stronger work-life balance, so attracting employees to these roles is easy.
  • Projects or tasks that require specific talent, but not full-time, long-term employees, can be completed without substantial changes in the company.

As an employer or a recruiter, refocus your efforts to find candidates with the talent and skills you need, not necessarily the engagement and investment of full-time, long-term employees. Alternative roles such as freelancers, independent contractors, and gig workers are shifting the workforce, and it is imperative that you change your recruiting and hiring strategies to match.

Author: Alisiana Peters

Alisiana is a senior marketing coordinator at HiringThing, an award-winning online recruiting software provider dedicated to changing the way businesses hire talent. Questions? Contact HiringThing Marketing.