Employment opportunities in South Africa are hard to come by and with an unemployment rate of around 25%, many people are exploring alternatives to traditional permanent positions.
“The hiring of contingent workers is one of the biggest growing trends in the workplace, both locally and globally. Not to be confused with a temporary employee, contingent workers are highly-skilled, non-permanent workers who are hired on a per-project basis,” explains Kay Vittee, CEO of Kelly – South Africa’s first recruitment agency of choice for rapid permanent and contingency staffing solutions.
“There are a number of benefits to being contingent employee,” says Vittee. She elaborates on some of these:
* Build your skills – Having the opportunity to work on different projects means that you get to make use of your current skills and add to them with each assignment. Having new skills and an array of experiences will add enormously to your CV and make you more marketable.
* Experience an array of employers – By taking the contingent route, you’ll get to showcase your skills at a variety of organisations and, in the process, identify which type of company suits you best. This will not only give you an idea of where you would like to work on your next assignment but, if there is a mutual fit between contingent worker and company, there is a good chance of you getting a more permanent position as both parties will have had the chance to ‘try before they buy’.
* Build up a network to get work – Working as a contingent worker will give you the opportunity to meet with a variety of corporate decision-makers and hiring managers. By impressing them with your on-the-job expertise, you are bound to get a few more names to add to the list of references on your CV, which will help in getting your next assignment. Plus, they can recommend your skills and services to others in their industry.
* An easier in and out – With many South Africans struggling to find permanent employment, coupled with companies reporting that there is a skills shortage, being a contingency worker makes sense. On top of enabling skilled people to find jobs and giving companies access to top talent as and when they need it, contingency work lets employees move on swiftly if the position no longer suits them due to factors like the nature of the assignment or even office politics.
* Get greater flexibility – In some cases you’ll be able to say ‘bye bye’ to the regular nine to five work day and pick the hours that suit your schedule.
“Contingency work has advantages for both the worker and the employing company. With the involvement of an employment service provider, these are enhanced since they take care of elements like recruitment, payment, benefits and career pathing,” Vittee says.