Decoding The Big Gig: What it means to be a temp in 2020

The gig economy is growing by leaps and bounds all around the world. To help international recruiting agencies prepare for the evolving labor market, we'll be releasing a series of articles exploring how different regions—from Australia to SE Asia to the Middle East and Europe and further moving west towards Africa and America—have seen the temp staffing market evolve. In subsequent posts, we'll dive into how this trend is gaining momentum and what temporary staffing agencies can expect in 2020. 

There's no denying that the need for flexible, temporary staffing has increased over the last few years. Managing temporary and contract employees alongside full-time staff can be a challenge to all recruiters working with multiple clients. Despite that added complexity, the market for this kind of work is growing, and it's important for businesses to keep up. 

In a previous post, we pointed out how leading brands like Uber, Samsung, Unilever, and several others have already been taking advantage of the rising supply of flexible workers. As the benefits of flexi staffing have become more evident, that same trend has spread across the IT industry as well. A recent study by Staffing Industry Analysts shows that nearly 96% of IT managers plan to bring on interim professionals. Of those, 60% say hiring project-based IT employees is part of their overall staffing strategy, and 58% will look to temporary staffing if a role becomes vacant and isn’t filled quickly.

Advantages for employers and employees

The freedom to work when and where you want is one of the biggest benefits any worker could ask for. That said, gig workers have multiple options to choose from--where they want to work, their desired work hours, or other flexible work options as well. This is especially beneficial for those who want to work only a designated number of hours a week to hit their perfect work-life balance.

On the other side of the spectrum, employers are looking to hire temporary workers because the cost of employing them for the short term is often cheaper than committing to full-time workers. Plus, working with a variety of temp workers brings in new ideas and perspectives that will boost innovation.

Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), a staffing advisory firm based in Mountain View, California, released their research results on the size and scope of the contingent workforce in the United States. They found 37% of U.S. workers would prefer to work outside of the traditional, salaried 40-hour work week.

"I would like to talk about both the employer and employee benefits in the flexi staffing industry. First, staffing agencies can quickly meet client requirements in supplying and managing flexi workers. They can also reduce training and onboarding costs. It used to be that temp work was mostly for those with trade skills, but more and more it's becoming commonplace for white collar workers as well." says Michael, Product Manager of Zoho Workerly.

The dynamic workforce

Hiring a multigenerational workforce can create unique learning opportunities for all of your employees. Younger hires will get exposure to ideas and methods borne out by experience, while older employees will get the benefit of learning the latest innovations in how to approach their work. This dynamic of sharing brings about not only a boost in productivity, but also an increase in the collaborative strength of temp workers.

Across the board, the way people work has changed, and this trend will only continue in 2020.

The on-demand economy

Today, HR is about more than just hiring and retaining talent. Adopting a flexi-staffing model will help your company stay competitive in an increasingly global market.

As a temp staffing agency juggling clients and flexi workers, thinking about the following questions will help guide you:

  • Is your temp scheduling process streamlined?

  • How can you satisfy your clients' needs better?

  • Are you focusing on a better temp worker experience?

The good news is that you can have all of these with temp scheduling software that helps you schedule the jobs you get from clients, generate timesheets, and send out invoices and a mobile app for your flexi workers. Also, providing temps with a platform they can use to update their tasks, clock daily work hours, and send timesheets for review is equally important.


Being a part of this exciting and booming gig economy and the diversity that it brings, only makes you wonder of what the future holds. We are surprised by the constantly evolving workforce landscape, and how much things have changed in the past one decade. On-demand talent is now a phenomenon that is making big things happen. And we have fallen in love with it. However, for temp agencies, it's time to up their game. Clients have bigger expectations and want you to facilitate them with the right talent at the right time. Thus, the bar is always set high.

Are you a temporary staffing agency working with clients? Drop a message in the comments section below, and tell us what you think. We'd love to hear your thoughts.

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