8 Myths About The Contingent Workforce

3rd Jul, 2020 | Resources

As the contingent workforce grows, their use and benefits are catching on. But for businesses unfamiliar with the efficiencies temporary staff can bring, there are often a few misconceptions that can hold them back from taking up the trend.

So, to help businesses looking to benefit from flexible staff, here’s a list that will allay some fears, and bust the myths about contingent workers.


“They’re only working temporary roles because they’re not good enough to get permanent jobs”

The large majority of temporary staff work this way because it allows them to engage in other pursuits, whether that’s study, raising a family or something else. Many flexible workers also hold a permanent role and pick up flexible work to bring in extra income.

The best temporary staffing platforms will only connect you with the top tier of flexible workers–  those that are more than qualified, and that you’d be happy to have in your business.

“There’s no reason for contingent staff to do a good job because they’re only here for a short time”

It’s in a contingent worker’s best interest to perform as well, if not better, than your permanent staff. Due to rating and review processes, temporary workers usually rely on your positive feedback to get selected for work in the future. Given that they may only have a few hours to impress you, they’re bound to perform at their very best.

“Contingent staff are unreliable”

While emergencies do happen, flexible workers don’t have sick leave to fall back on, so they’re less likely to be absent than permanent staff. Most temporary staffing platforms also ensure that any absences are dealt with – making it harder (if not impossible) for “no-shows” to get work in future. This means contingent staff have more riding on their ability to show up and be on time.

The best platforms will also quickly replace an absent staffer from their large contingent worker pool, meaning businesses won’t feel the impact of any absence that may happen. 

“They’re unskilled”

In order to access temporary staffing platforms, contingent workers will undergo assessments to ensure that they are qualified to complete the work they apply for – either with formal certificates like their RSA, or through their work history in a related area.

The best platforms also skills test their applicants, to confirm that they have the skills they advertise.

“They’re distracted and uncommitted”

It’s easy to assume that since many contingent workers choose flexible work so that they can engage in other pursuits, they must not enjoy work and are focused on other priorities. However, given their reliance on getting future work, temporary workers can often be the most focused and productive. Their flexible engagements give them the work/life balance they need to enjoy working. They are often likely to be more mentally present that most permanent workers.

“Contingent staff take too much training”

This may be true if you are expecting temporary workers to make big business decisions or complete technical tasks that are totally unique to your business. However, when used properly, on standardised tasks like food service, or repeatable work that requires an initial simple demonstration, such as picking and packing, they can actually add efficiencies that permanent staff could lack.

“Even if you like them, you’ll never see them again”

While this depends greatly on their own availability, many contingent workers are happy to take repeat shifts with good employers. The best casual staffing platforms will provide features that allow you to identify your favourite flexible workers and hire them again and again.

“They are hard to find”

If you’re looking in the right places, contingent staff are abundant.  Last year there was 6% increase in flexible workers looking for jobs on traditional job boards but 140% increase of successful applications to temporary workforce platforms like Sidekicker.

With access to over 10,000 staff with Sidekicker, finding the right person when you need them is simple.