CNBC has stumbled upon a revelation. Tech companies are using contract employees to cut costs and increase profits! GASP!
The news outlet ‘revealed’ what was called “Silicon Valley’s dirty secret” wherein they detailed business’ strategy of hiring contract workers to complete tasks and avoid the necessity of addressing retirement, benefits, housing, meals, paid time off, and any other expenses that come with having full-time employees on premises.
News flash: the tech world has ALWAYS operated this way for a variety of reasons. You can’t call a decades-old practice that all in the industry recognize as a common standard “secret,” nor a “shadow workforce,” even if there is a more ideal hiring method (and there is).
First, the obvious reasons for operating this way is (again) cutting costs.
Second, as technology continues to grow exponentially, the needs of companies are ever-changing. It makes sense to hire someone who is exactly right for a task, and when that task evolves, considering another person for the job.
Additionally, many services can be provided remotely, and while the generation of working for one company for 30 years and retiring is gone, the flexible hours and locations of contracting allow significant freedom to contractors.
So many talented people are now able to provide their services, choose their hours, work from home, and be selective of the projects they join. Marketing, coding, writing, digital art, analytics, programming, are just a few of the common careers of contractors. Is it frustrating to provide your talent and services while not building a retirement fund or receiving healthcare? ABSOLUTELY. Is it a revelation? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
The world has changed significantly in the last 20 years. It will continue to evolve in ways we have not foreseen. Employment practices are updated to reflect the supply and demand of technology. In the meantime, it certainly sounds more ethical to provide employees, full-time or contract, with benefits and pensions.
However, the competition in the job market for those holding degrees (of all kinds) is higher than it has ever been. It therefore seems unlikely that tech companies will have to conform. There is always a host of available and willing talent to take on new projects and attempt to get their foot in the door at all costs.
We can only hope that CNBC will stay tuned for other tech revelations such as the release of the iPod Shuffle.