NPR is running a piece today, talking about how in the first wave of layoffs companies hired contractors to replace people they needed. Then they realize they could do that on a widespread basis in the company, so some have laid of most of their workforce and replaced them with contractors. The dilemma for the contractor (and for the company in terms of commitment and productivity) is that the contractors have no benefits. So they’re constantly scouting for traditional employment elsewhere, and not really invested in the company. At the same time, NPR is saying the thousands of jobs lost seem to have vanished or “disappeared” – meaning they’re not waiting in the wings for recovery, but (tho they won’t go this far) are likely never coming back.
What this would seem to mean is:
- Companies have figured out that traditional employment doesn’t let them weather change well
- Contracting on a wide scale is here to stay – it’s not going away – it’s increasing
- Benefits are a key issue for both the Free Agent and the Client/Corporation – to making the change sustainable
We’re not going back to a traditional employment market like it was, and some companies are never going back to the old model, so what has to change and evolve to make it sustainable? That’s really a thought process that has been integral in building Free Agent Source. Seeing these trends at the outset, we knew we had to address the kinds of issues that NPR is raising and meet them with meaningful solutions.