Are Gen Xers Better as Employees or Contractors?

(Editor’s Note: This is the next in a series of guest blog posts about contract staffing, courtesy of Top Echelon Contracting, the recruiter’s back-office solution.  Similar posts will appear in future issues of The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog.)

Debbie FledderjohannA recent article by Harvard Business Review focuses on how employers can retain their Generation X talent, but it appears that many workers from this generation may be better suited for contract assignments.

According to the article, 70% of Gen Xers surveyed by the Center for Talent Innovation stated that they prefer to work independently.  Consider the following quotes from workers interviewed for the survey:

  • “Once I’ve learned my job, I like to move on.”
  • “I need something new to keep things fresh.”
  • “If it’s the right thing, I’d jump. I won’t stop learning or growing just to have a job.”

The article recommends that, in order to retain these employees, employers should invest in mentoring programs and allow employees to rotate through different types of jobs.

Another option is for these workers to consider contract assignments.  Contracting would allow them to try different companies, projects, industries, and job functions.

Do you have Generation X candidates who have a lot of talent but seem restless and easily bored?  If so, you may want to encourage them to consider contract assignments.

By placing them in positions that meet their career goals, you could find yourself a quality pool of contract candidates that will come to you again and again for more contract opportunities.


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