Used to describe work arrangements that differ from regular/permanent, direct wage and salary employment. Contingent workers most often include temporary employees provided by an outside staffing agency and independent contractors/consultants. Contingent workers may also include temporary workers from an internal pool, and others (such as summer interns) employed directly by an organization for an intentionally limited time period. They do not include work done by consulting firms or by part-time regular employees, and are primarily distinguished by an explicitly defined tenure. 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.
Source:Staffing Industry Analysts