Why your diversity and inclusion efforts need to include contingent workers

by Sep 29, 2021

The modern workplace is vastly different from what was conventional and widespread a decade or so ago. The nine-to-five model has been replaced by digital nomadism, freelancers, remote work, and external collaborations of all sorts.

Contingent workers in particular are gaining more traction, because companies are looking for ways to diversify and expand their teams without overwhelming their staffing processes.

Over the years, the notion of inclusivity combined with diversity has become one of the main goals for most businesses. Contingent workers – often hired on-demand for a short-term or for particular projects – are making this process much simpler, in many different ways.

Here’s how building a career in contingent work as well as hiring contingent workers regularly empowers corporate diversity and inclusivity.


Skill and talent diversification

Most companies today struggle with retention in one form or another, but even for those that don’t, the fluctuating need for different skill sets makes it difficult to hire the right people all the time. This is especially prevalent for short-term projects, where you need a handful of people who would jump in to handle a specific segment of that project.

You might not have a full-time need for them, but their skills are absolutely essential when you do need them. It also leaves room to hire differently-abled workers whose expertise can grow the business.

On the other end of the spectrum, this kind of flexibility helps workers change their professional direction from time to time and collaborate with different industries. Graphic designers, for instance, are needed in marketing, gaming, but also in retail, and manufacturing.


Hiring across cultures

Diversification also refers to being able to open your company doors to people from all cultures around the world. With today’s professional employer of record services available, a company can safely and legally hire people in different countries satisfying all local compliance regulations.

There are no more excuses, as businesses are no longer required to go through the lengthy processes of setting up entire offices in every location. This take on international logistics helps any company work with contingent workers everywhere, encouraging cultural diversity through these temporary collaborations.


Enabling remote collaboration

Working with contingent staff allows companies another brilliant way to empower inclusivity: through remote work. When you hire someone specifically for their expertise, you can harness workers from all walks of life and of all abilities and lifestyle choices.

From traditionally marginalised groups, the LGBTQIA+ community, all the way to veterans, companies can focus on finding the ideal match for their knowledge and experience and thus diversify in every other sense.

That means that you can easily expand your talent pool to global candidates when you embrace remote work and find people who both have the skills and happen to belong to one of the listed categories in order to encourage diversity and inclusivity.


Boosting mentorship opportunities

Contract-based work leaves companies wondering how they can ensure that the same hard-working candidates will consider working with them again. One way to strengthen those relationships is to ensure benefits and learning opportunities for your contingent workforce, too.

Encouraging diversity and inclusivity in a business doesn’t start or end with your hiring policies and onboarding strategies. Companies can use this opportunity to build their corporate culture in a way that strengthens external and internal bonds.

Contingent workers can likely teach your full-time staff all kinds of skills and the latest industry knowledge, but the same applies to your own workers, too. Encouraging these exchanges and mentorship programs that include contingent workers will empower inclusivity all around and help your business foster a healthy, collaborative work environment.


Simplifying overall equality

Underrepresented workers will get a much better chance for fair compensation and effective career-building opportunities when businesses are open to contingent hiring. It might be difficult or time-consuming to find a local candidate that belongs to that underrepresented group in your business and has the right abilities.

However, if you’re open to hiring on a contract basis, you can look beyond your own borders and find workers that can enrich your business and ensure equality through so much more than their skills.


Being a contingent worker in this day and age is becoming more rewarding than ever, and companies need to keep up with this shift in hiring trends to introduce more flexibility. With contingent workers as part of your hiring strategy, you’ll notice that your business will have a much greater potential to thrive, with diversity as part of your culture.


Featured image courtesy of Pexels

Marie Nieves

Marie Nieves


Marie Nieves has been a regular writer for High Style Life since 2015 and had some guest posts on other blogs in the meantime. Right now, she is taking a break from writing about lifestyle themes, and writing more about business (supported with a degree in business management). Marie is passionate about technology, HR, personal and professional development. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.