11 July 2011

Contract IT Employee: A Social Stigma?

In India, almost 80 million people are working on temporary basis, however a meager 0.5 percent of them are employed in the organized sector. Currently there are about 1,20,000 to 1,30,000 temps working with over 500 companies, including ICICI Lombard, Bharti, Reliance Infocomm, HP, Wipro BPO, Transworks and so on. If we go by sector basis, studies show that temps are predominant in IT sector.

From employee's point of view, temping helps an employee to acquire different skills by working in different setups and acquing multiple skills will help them remain employable in the competitive job markets.

But in a country like India, where job security is very essential for social status, temping has some flip sides too.

Job insecurity always acts as a demotivator. The temps hardly get any perks and incentives like the permanent employees. The chances of becoming permanent with the client company are also less so possibility of achieving a stable career lacks. The underperformers are always at risk as they can be sacked anytime and that too without a notice. Moreover, too much hopping act as red flags in one's resume.

Their status as temporary employees sometimes have even affected them more personally on marital issues. In India, government jobs are given first preference, but after the IT bang, software engineers became most sought after and private jobs are well accepted now. However, a Temporary job is still a new concept for most of the parents and is not ok for them that their children opt for temporary jobs. Temporary jobs are still a taboo here.

It is not only the temps who have the insecurity about the job, some employers also go through a discomfort. Some employers find that temporary workers lack motivation and commitment. Businesses which use agency "temps" depend on the screening and testing methods used by the agency. If temp for six months or more, then may have legal issues on definition of who is an employee and who is in fact a temp.

The uncertain economic environment has made job security a top priority rather than pay and benefits for graduates reveals a report. According to the report by global consultancy firm KPMG, more than 75 per cent students consider job security their top priority as a result of the uncertain economic environment.

Although Temping has some flip sides, it is still gaining pace in India. Industry experts say that permanent job assurance is now a passe as downsizing can happen any time. Temping will prove to be a viable option in such cases. The industry watchers believe that this new HR trend is here to stay. But what is your opinion on Temporary employees?