Flexible Workforces on the Rise as Employees Look for New Jobs

A new study finds that that the average percentage of contingent workers (those that include contractors, freelancers and/or temporary workers) in their workforces has increased from 15 percent in 2017 to 29 percent in 2018. In fact, 41 percent of employees say they will only work for a company that offers agile employment opportunities.

Employers and employees largely agree on the benefits of an agile workforce. However, there are several areas where the two groups were less aligned, such as salary satisfaction and retention drivers. The study also uncovered data on several other key workplace trends. Among the findings:

  • Workers are looking for new jobs – soon!: The number of employees looking to leave their current jobs is even higher among Millennials, with 48 percent saying they will likely look for a new job in the next three months and 56 percent in the next 12 months. The top reasons for moving on for all generations are unhappiness with their current salaries, growth opportunities and office culture. Overall, workers don’t feel that their employers are putting in the effort to retain them, with 20 percent saying their employers are making less effort.
  • Salary satisfaction is an area of major disconnect: The study shows that 40 percent of employees are not happy with their current salary, and 83 percent believe they should be paid more in today’s market. Meanwhile, 61 percent of employers believe their employees are happy with their current salaries. Also, 68 percent of employers say they know they have to increase wages in order to compete for talent but are financially unable to do so at this time.
  • Recruitment efforts must evolve: When looking for new jobs, employees consider the following: the experience they have during the hiring process (86 percent), the number of programs/benefits a company offers to help maintain work-life balance (85 percent) and connection with a company’s culture and values (78 percent). In addition, 65 percent say that a company’s online reputation is equally important as the offer in determining whether they will accept a job. While work-life balance ranks high on the list, only 45 percent of employees are very or extremely satisfied with their ability to maintain work-life balance.
  • Diversity is still a goal versus a reality for most companies: Less than half (49 percent) of companies and employees (45 percent) describe their workforce as extremely or very diverse. In addition, equal pay continues to be problematic with 63 percent of male employees saying they believe employees at their company earn equal pay for a job, regardless of gender, versus only 49 percent of female employees who share that perception of equality.

The 2018 Emerging Workforce Study was conducted online within the United States between February and March 2018 by Research Now Group, Inc., on behalf of Spherion,