It’s 2012. The year of presidential elections; the year of the world’s end, if you ask some; and, according to the results of a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive© of more than 3,000 hiring managers and HR professionals, the year of the temporary and contract worker?! Well, while that might be a stretch, it appears that 36 percent of companies will hire contract or temporary workers this year, up from 34 percent in 2011, 30 percent in 2010, and 28 percent in 2009.

Why the increase in demand for temporary and contract workers? 

As many of us are painfully aware, more than one-third (35 percent, to be exact) of American companies are operating with smaller staffs than before the recession. To address business needs and keep pace with market demand, many are turning to staffing and recruiting companies and temporary workers. And it’s good news for many employees: 35 percent of the companies hiring temporary and contract workers this year have plans to bring them on on a permanent basis.

When the hiring is happening
Some companies’ temporary hiring movement is already in full swing, and they’re not alone: 27 percent of companies will hire temporary or contract workers in Q1 2012.  As Eric Gilpin, president of CareerBuilder Staffing & Recruiting Group, pointed out, “Temporary jobs from staffing and recruiting firms are playing an increasingly important role in the economic recovery. Employers are relying on temporary and contract workers to support leaner staffs, and in many cases, will transition those workers to permanent roles.”

We know that temporary and contract hiring is already happening — but where is it happening most?
Based on data from CareerBuilder’s Supply & Demand Portal, these are the most in-demand staffing and recruiting positions, broken down by industry:

Health Care
1) Occupational or Physical Therapist
2) Speech Language Pathologist

1) Maintenance Technician or Mechanic
2) CNC (Computer Numerical Control) Machinist Information

 1) Java or .Net Developer
2) Network Engineer

1) Administrative Assistant
2) Customer Service Representative

1) Business Analyst
2) Marketing Assistant

Temporary workers can provide a needed talent boost for businesses, while enjoying the flexibility that comes along with these types of jobs.

Source: Amy Chulik

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