Employment Experts Seeing More Contractors in C-Suite

(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 Fledderjohann

There’s no doubt that contract staffing is on the rise, as is usually the case in an economic recovery. But what really makes this surge in contract staffing unique is where the growth is happening.

Much of that growth is happening in the C-Suite.  In the Third Quarter 2012 edition of the Contracting Corner, Joanie Ruge, Senior Vice President and Chief Employment Analyst for Randstad Holding U.S. told Top Echelon Contracting that companies are looking for a more flexible workforce model with contractors at all different levels, extending all the way to the C-Suite.

In a trend known as executive temping, companies are bringing in high-level executives on a contract basis, sometimes for as long as a year or two, Ruge said. This is quite a contrast from the days when “temp staffing” was limited to office, clerical, blue collar positions.

A recent www.nrp.com article titled “For Temp Workers, ‘Temp’ Looking More Permanent,” also highlights this trend. Ed Schultz, who has worked on a contract basis as an acting comptroller or CFO for numerous companies over the past decade, told www.npr.com that companies thinned out their C-suites during the recession. While the recovery has created more of a demand for executives to handle mergers and acquisitions, companies are still not hiring full-time.

“My feeling is that it’s a permanent change,” he said. “It’s a sea of change that we’re seeing more activity in that interim C-suite area.”

Executive temping is a win-win for both the company and the executives.  Companies, of course, save on the high cost of executive benefits packages and have the ability to only pay the steep price for an executive when they need one.  Executives enjoy the more flexible schedule and the ability to take on a variety of challenging projects.

It’s also a win for recruiters.  Companies often need help finding these high-level individuals. By finding and placing them as contractors, you can earn a hefty hourly income over the length of their contract, not to mention a nice conversion fee if the company decides they do need full-time help and coverts them to a direct hire.


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