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There is a widespread perception that employment in so-called flexible staffing arrangements, including various temporary, on-call, and contract jobs, is large and growing. The Indian organized flexi-staffing industry is set to get much bigger, with the transition to the goods and services tax (GST) expected to have a positive influence. But as the flexibility lets firms hire more temporary staff, the focus will shift from creating permanent employment. This doesn’t augur well for providing good and well-paying jobs with benefits and a clear career progression, nor is it good for developing skills. I endeavor to shed light on the implications of flexible staffing approach on the quality of experience and succeeding effects on employee life. Reviewing existing research on a wide range of flexible staffing arrangements: agency temporary, on-call, direct-hire temporary, leased, contract company, and independent contractor employment. Is it really, a good Idea!
Many regard such a development as troubling, pointing out that workers in these arrangements often receive low wages and few benefits. Firms, it is argued, are using these arrangements to increase workforce flexibility, and, by implication, are reducing their commitment to training workers and providing them with stable employment. Moreover, some firms allegedly use flexible staffing arrangements to circumvent employment and labor laws, raising concerns that existing laws are inadequate to protect the growing number in these arrangements. The circumstances facing workers in flexible staffing arrangements vary substantially by type of arrangement. Agency temporaries, on-call workers, and direct-hire temporaries are disproportionately young; they tend to be unhappy with their work arrangement and want a permanent job with regularly scheduled hours; and they are likely to earn low wages and come from poor families. Along with contract company workers, they experience less job stability compared to regular, full-time workers.
Let’s take a lesson learnt, a study by U.S. department of labor shows patterns differ by type of arrangement. Agency temporaries, on-call workers, direct-hire temporaries, contract workers, and regular part-time workers are much less likely to be employed one year later in part because they experience much higher levels of unemployment and in part because they are more likely to drop out of the labor force both voluntarily and involuntarily. One year later, agency temporaries, on-call workers, direct-hire temporaries, contract workers, and regular part-time workers are also much more likely than regular full-time workers to have changed employers. The pattern for independent contractors and other self-employed is quite different. Although workers in these groups had somewhat lower employment rates than regular full-time workers one year later, the lower employment rates may be ascribed entirely to the fact that a much higher proportion voluntarily drop out of the labor force. They are less likely than regular full-time workers to change employers and to become unemployed The trend in contract staffing is increasing day by day!
The main reason for this trend is to reduce risk factors and as a strategy to mitigate the risk uncertainty associated with the inflow of projects. A trend towards a “just-in-time” workforce raises concerns about the future job stability and training of workers. Consistent with this finding, the major reason firms give for using these types of arrangements is to accommodate fluctuations in their workload or absences in their regular staff. In addition, firms appear to be increasing their use of these types of arrangements, in part, to increase their workforce flexibility. In the end I would like to conclude with elucidating the concept of corporate social responsibility means that organizations have moral, ethical, and philanthropic responsibilities in addition to their responsibilities to earn a fair return for investors and comply with the law. This means that organizations are expected to do more than just comply with the law, but also make proactive efforts to anticipate and meet the norms of society even if those norms are not formally enacted in law.
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