3 Things that Make Contingency Workers Tick and How to Maximize their Effectiveness in your Organiza

I have done plenty of human resources work and hiring permanent employees prior to transitioning to iLynx Inc. I knew recruiting specialized IT workers was going to be challenging, but I had no idea exactly how challenging it as going to be.

It was like going to another country, not speaking the language, not understanding the culture, and having to make friends - quickly.

I had to learn to navigate the waters fast and I had to get to know what makes this group of workers so special.

In order to make these new friends quickly, to dig into the psychology of the contingency worker and figure out what made them tick. So I immersed myself in their world and began to research.

Learning why IT contingency workers are needed and attractive to organizations was an important step in understanding the culture in which contingency workers thrive. According to industry reports, IT contractors are autonomous and need little supervision (Rohman, 2016). Most IT contractors understand that they are there to complete a project, but they appreciate understanding the big picture of the organization so they can fully contribute (Rohman, 2016). In large, IT contractors are detail-oriented, process-driven, highly-innovative, and are more engaged in the organization’s mission and project objectives than traditional, permanent employees (Rohman, 2016). This data not only reflects how contract workers can positively help organizations and can be valuable in helping them achieve their goals, but it also provides insight into the training and development strategy that staffing companies can initiate with their contract workers.

#1 They can be more of a team player than traditional, permanent workers.

Research shows that contingency workers can not only work both autonomously and collaboratively, but they also need very little supervisor and are highly innovative (Rohman, 2016). Contingency workers can assist in keeping a work team focused on the goals of the project and can bring an element of teamwork and leadership while traditional workers have become complacent.

#2 They want to know the big picture so they can fully commit to helping the client reach their goals.

Contingency workers THRIVE working in process-driven, goal-oriented environments. Share both your short and long-term goals with them, and they will make you meeting your goals their personal mission (Rohman, 2016). Contingency workers are key in helping organizations meet their strategic goals.

#3 They want to come to the birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, and seen as a valuable, contributing member of the team.

Research indicates that there is a reoccurring theme among contingency workers: inclusiveness. Due to the nature of their position, contingency workers understand they are not permanently a part of the client’s organization, but they would like to contribute to the company’s mission and make a difference and still feel like a part of the organization. Including them in key company events, meetings, and even the fun celebrations can help them understand the organizational design better and cultivate relationships with other staff members, which may make them an even more valuable contributor and asset.

Understanding what makes contingency workers tick is key in understanding how organizations can maximize their contribution. Get to know your temporary or contingency staff, include them in your staff meetings, celebrations, and planning meetings and allow them the opportunity to make your organization shine.


Jobvite, (2015) The recruiting funnel, deconstructed. Retrieved from: http://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/jobvite_the_recruiting_funnel.pdf

Rohman, J. (2016, January 7). Engagement among freelance and contract employees. Retrieved from: http://www.greatplacetowork.com/events-and-insights/blogs-and-news/3193-engagement-among-freelance-and-contract-employees#sthash.qOats3IF.J1qfS9g4.dpbs

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