By Tim Bell of People 2.0  •  January 30, 2018

For sustaining success, independent recruiters must take advantage of the “candidate’s quest for flexibility” trend that is especially popular among the millennial generation (23-34 year-olds), currently the largest segment of the global workforce. Recruiters and employers alike are realizing that flexibility may be the key ingredient to meeting the competitive demand for talent, while also engaging this influential generation.

More and more companies are offering flexible work options, which allows employers to appeal to millennials while potentially reducing turnover and increasing productivity. Furthermore, retaining millennials is good for long-term business. A 2016 survey published by FlexJobs reveals that those millennials interested in work flexibility are highly educated and experienced workers; 74 percent of respondents have a college or graduate degree, and 20 percent are already manager level or higher.

Flexibility – Top in Job Prospect Considerations

It’s clear that ‘flexibility’ isn’t a fad and is swiftly becoming essential when weighing offers. In fact, the FlexJobs survey reveals that ‘work-life balance’ and ‘work flexibility’ are the most important factors for millennials when evaluating job prospects (84 percent and 82 percent, respectively). Compare those statistics to traditionally recognized job prospect considerations that rank lower in importance: salary (80%), health insurance (48%), and 401(k)/retirement benefits (36%).

According to a recent EY survey: “More than other generations, U.S. millennials were most likely to say they valued flexibility. And if they get it they said they are more likely to recommend the company as a place to work, be more engaged and work longer hours.”

It’s worth recognizing that flexibility appeals to other generations in the global workforce, too. The EY survey of 9,700 full-time employees in eight of the largest economies around the world notes that ‘flexibility’ ranked as a top feature wanted in a job, just behind competitive pay and benefits; respondents also cited lack of flexibility among the top reasons they’d quit.

Millennials – the Intersection of Flexibility and Contingent

If flexibility is the influence and millennials are the driving force, is the rise of a contingent workforce the result? Or maybe the contract and temp opportunities have just been waiting for the best-fit talent pool?

  • By 2020, more than 40 percent of the U.S. workforce will be comprised of contingent workers, according to a study conducted by Intuit.
  • “Over the next several decades, the impact millennials have on when, where, and how we all work will be felt in pretty much every organization and even in public policy measures,” notes the FlexJobs survey.
  • “Temporary staffing holds the major percentage share in the total recruitment and staffing market, and is projected to grow at a faster growth in the future owing to the growing preference for flexible working environment,” according to the Global Recruitment and Staffing Market (2016-2021) report.

More and more recruiters are recognizing that revenue opportunities are inevitable if they can appeal to millennials and serve clients with contingent workforce needs. Furthermore, the correlation of flexibility and contingent growth is not limited to millennials. According to American Staffing Association, about one in five of surveyed staffing employees (across generations) cite ‘scheduling flexibility’ as a key reason for choosing temporary and contract work. Individual assignments range from a few hours to several years; overall employment tenure averages just over three months.

This climate creates exciting opportunities for recruiters when adding contract and temp placements to their traditional direct hire placements. It’s actually a win-win-win:

Recruiters are better equipped to edge out the competition and increase revenue; plus, the flexibility inherent in temporary and contract placements make the positions attractive to millennials

Talent is acquired and satisfied with flexible options (and recruiters improve talent retention)

Client companies fill positions with scalability to meet the changing needs of business (and recruiters improve client satisfaction)

Get Ahead – Recurring Revenue Stream

Need further convincing that this opportunity must be pursued now? Consider these six reasons to ride this trend to propel your growth:

  1. Contract placements are easier to make because neither party is making a “permanent” commitment. Agreeing to contract assignment terms can be easier and much quicker for both parties. That flexibility gives you a big advantage! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to finally say “yes” to clients wanting your help filling temp and contract positions you would’ve had to turn down in the past?
  2. There’s a shortage of qualified personnel. Keep your good candidates busy! When workers are active on temporary assignments, they’ll be available when a direct hire opportunity arises.
  3. Beat the competition by attracting the best talent and accommodating their desire for flexibility on assignments.
  4. Recruiters focusing exclusively on direct hire placements can experience significant fluctuations in cash flow. Fees from contract placements are predictable, consistent, and stable, which allows recruiters to generate an additional source of income.
  5. Many client companies want the try-before-we-buy option. As this trend continues, all recruiters should be able to offer temp-to-perm placements.
  6. Due to the rise in contract labor needs, client companies are heavily relying on the staffing industry to manage the entire process. Your clients will look to you for comprehensive services.
See article in original format here.


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