IT staffing mythInformationWeek’s Annual Salary Survey is out and for a few columns now I have been looking at different parts of the report and thinking about what some of the results mean to me, ATR International, and our clients. I have one last thing that I wanted to share with you in case you missed it.

When IT staff and managers were asked their “Primary Reasons for Working as a Contractor / Consultant,” they strongly responded that higher pay (44%, 49%), flexibility of hours (33%, 50%), and variety of work (33%, 42%) were why, with only 28% of staff and 10% of managers saying it was because they couldn’t find a full time IT job. This is not news to me or anyone else at ATR or in the business of procuring or supplying contingent workforce professionals. It confirms what we’ve known for years. My hope is that it will also be noticed by the naysayers out there who denigrate the contributions and success of the contingent labor force.

One frequent claim is that temporary assignments are a way for businesses to cheat the employee and that temporary workers are being taken advantage of and manipulated like pawns. The survey results clearly refute this idea in the IT space. Of course there are some who turn to contract assignments because they can’t find full time work but by and large most consultants are working this way because they want to. What they say supports what I’ve seen for the past 25 years – contingent labor solutions help both businesses and employees.

The software developers, engineers, project manager and technicians that we place at leading firms across the U.S. are not unhappily droning through a dismal workday underpaid and undervalued but people working on projects they like, along with the company’s permanent workforce, to provide critical services. They are vibrant members of teams that contribute to the overall success of individual firms and our economy overall. The survey shows that many if not most choose to work on a temporary or contract basis because of the benefits and flexibility that it provides.

I always acknowledge how rewarding this job is and I’m proud of the work that we do each day – helping people find the right opportunity, the next best step in their career. Bringing clients and consultants together, helping both at the same time, is an honor and a privilege. I’m pleased to see concrete support of what I already knew. There is no reason for shame or apologies. Companies want to hire on a contract basis and workers want to work that way too. Seems like a good match and one that we should be happy about being a part of.

Jerry Brenholz
CEO and President
ATR International, Inc.


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