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Contingent Labor Management Lacks Strategy; Satisfaction Gaps Exist on Meeting Performance Expectations

Apr 29, 2014 | HANOVER, MD | For media inquiries, please contact us at

Hanover, Md. – April 29, 2014 – TEKsystems®, a leading provider of IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services, today released the results of a survey that explored the current state and future trends in the organizational adoption of contingent IT workers. The survey examined the reasons for hiring contingent workers, adoption rates, satisfaction levels, motivational factors and effectiveness of contingent worker management. The survey revealed that while IT leaders and IT professionals agree that contingent labor is a critical part of many organizations’ business operations, a disconnect exists with regard to performance and expectations.

Survey findings represent the views of more than 1,500 IT leaders and IT professionals in North America across a wide variety of industries including technology, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, government and professional services. Full results of the survey and an executive summary are available from TEKsystems’ online research library.

Key highlights from the survey include:

Organizations Increasingly Turn to Contingent Labor, Struggle with Matching Skills

  • IT leaders increasingly expect contingent labor to become a core component of organizations’ employee populations. Between 2014 and 2018, the percentage of IT leaders estimating that contingent IT labor will make up between 11 and 25 percent of their overall IT workforce will increase from 25 percent to 35 percent, while those expecting contingent labor to represent 10 percent or less of the IT workforce will decrease from 54 to 41 percent.
  • Contingent worker matchmaking is difficult, increasingly time-consuming.
    Fifty-eight percent of IT leaders say that finding great contingent workers that fit their organization’s needs is difficult, while 50 percent of IT professionals believe that finding a contingent work engagement that matches their skill sets is also difficult. Both groups expect the time dedicated to contingent work arrangements to increase, with 44 percent of IT leaders expecting increases in time needed to manage contingent workers and 48 percent of IT professionals expecting increases in time dedicated to finding contingent work.

Leaders View Contingent Labor as Critical, Disconnect with Workers on Quality of Work

  • IT leaders agree that contingent labor plays a critical role. Over two-thirds (69 percent) of IT leaders believe that contingent labor is critical to the success of their organization’s business operations. Meanwhile, sixty-one percent of IT professionals indicate that their organization acts in a manner that reflects contingent labor is treated as a critical component in the company’s success.
  • IT professionals rate contingent IT workers’ job performance more satisfactory compared to IT leaders’ view of the workers’ performance. Although 90 percent of IT professionals agree that contingent worker performance meets the expectations of their hiring company, only 68 percent of IT leaders say the same. Similarly, while 89 percent of IT professionals agree that contingent worker skills meet expectations, only 73 percent of IT leaders indicate that is the case. This disconnect could be related to the fact that less than half (48 percent) of IT leaders report that they regularly evaluate and provide feedback regarding contingent worker performance at the end of the assignment.

Organizations Struggle with Contingent Labor Strategy

  • Many organizations do not have a strong contingent labor strategy. Less than a quarter of IT leaders indicate that their contingent labor strategy is part of an enterprise-wide (23 percent) or departmental (20 percent) workforce planning strategy. More than one in ten (11 percent) say that their use of contingent labor is simply not defined.
  • Internal alignment between organizations’ IT and Human Resources departments is lacking. Only one in ten (11 percent) of IT leaders strongly agree that their HR/procurement departments understand their contingent workforce needs. Even fewer strongly believe that HR has the expertise to effectively source contingent workers (9 percent), are efficient at onboarding and integrating contingent workers (8 percent) or have domain-expertise to effectively screen candidates (6 percent).
  • IT leaders not confident in Human Resources department’s ability to handle contingent workforce. While 72 percent of IT leaders say that HR/procurement is at least partially responsible for hiring decisions related to contingent workers, only 50 percent say that they are confident in HR’s ability handle the increased use of contingent workers.

“If there is one thing that IT professionals and their bosses can agree on, it is that the use of contingent workers is not going away. In fact, as organizations increasingly encounter the need for more specialized skill sets, the use of contingent workers will only increase,” said Jason Hayman, market research manager for TEKsystems. “In order to be successful in the future, organizations need to build stronger workforce planning strategies that account for the influx of contingent labor into the workforce and ensure that talent management best practices are followed with every employee regardless of their status.”

TEKsystems’ Jason Hayman is available for additional commentary. For more information about the survey or to schedule an interview, please contact Rick McLaughlin (

About TEKsystems

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, an Allegis Group company, we understand people. Every year we deploy more than 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across North America, Europe and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals–while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there.