Taken from Staffing Industry Analysts, the authority of the staffing industry
Contingency Placement — The practice of charging a fee to either the applicant or the employer only after a successful referral of the applicant to the employer for employment. (See also: Retained Search.)
Self-employed individuals should only be defined as contingent workers if they provide themselves as contract labor to other organizations. Otherwise, they should not be included in the contingent workforce, because they may have stable occupations or careers that are clearly not conditional. Workers in Professional Employer Organization (see definition) arrangements are not contingent workers, because the relationship is by definition ongoing. Outsourcing also falls outside of the contingent work definition, because it defines a vendor-supplier relationship, not an employer-worker relationship.
The “contingent worker” label applies to all workers of any skill type or experience level who meet this definition, including those in professional, blue-collar, or office/clerical roles.
This may occur in an instance when only the customer has the proper knowledge and experience to properly evaluate potential workers. Often the payrolling arrangements are temporary in nature and usually only involve a specific client function or position, not all or a significant portion of a client’s workforce as in employee leasing. Payrolling services are typically billed at significantly lower markups than traditional temporary staffing because the staffing firm has not incurred any recruiting costs.
Can also refer to billing by the day (instead of hourly billing) or shorthand for nurses provided on a daily basis rather than a travel basis.
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