Businesses are increasing their focus on hiring white collar contractors, also known as IPros, to increase productivity within their organisations, according to contractor management company, Entity Solutions.
In its latest study, the Independent Professional (IPro) Index 2012, conducted by Monash University, surveyed 346 white-collar contract professionals across Australia in the IT, telecommunications, engineering, mining, banking and financial services verticals.
The results showed IPros are productive and committed workers who understand their clients’ needs and adhere to their agreed work schedules. The IPro index score for 2012 hit a scale of 7.3 out of 10, an increase from 6.9 in 2011.
The research looked into the current issues affecting IPros, as well as its general state of well-being in 2012, including lifestyle, well-being, commitment to current clients, perceived support, and corporate issues such as professional contracting work and productivity.
It revealed about two in three IPros experience a sense of commitment to their current client and almost three in four of them believe their employers care about their opinions and are around to help them should they require it.
“We are seeing a fundamental shift in the global workforce today. One in 2.65 workers are in non-traditional employment, amounting to 4.3 million of our workforce. If businesses don’t make changes to their attraction of talent, they will be non-competitive in their marketplaces,” Entity Solutions CEO, Matthew Franceschini, said.
Monash University deputy director of Social and Economic Interface Research Network (SEIRnet), Dr Tui McKeown, claimed IPros are an organisational asset that should be recognised for the value they offer and the skills they bring.
“Organisations that relegate them to be ignored, hidden or forgotten are quite simply missing out. They should be competitive by hiring people who are going to be highly productive for a period of time to keep them in business,” she said.
The IPro index also found positive increases in attitudes towards lifestyle, commitment to clients, perceived support from clients and current business trends. The highest attitudinal score was for well-being (8.1 out of 10).
Findings from the study include:
- 88 per cent of respondents agree that they are generally very satisfied with working as an IPro.
- 91 per cent of them agree that they are satisfied with the kind of work they do as an IPro.
- 89 per cent are proud of the work they do, while 84 per cent of them are enthusiastic about their jobs
- 50 per cent of IPros feel a sense of belonging to the company that they work for
- 50 per cent of them would be happy to spend the rest of their career working for their current client organisation
- 73 per cent of them agree that their client cares about their opinion and 72 per cent said the client offers help when they come across a problem and
- 54 per cent admitted that finding better work will be difficult.
“It’s time we acknowledge the human capital of this growing and important workforce in this country,” Franceschini added.