Differing HR Practices for Standard and Contingent Employees

Human Resource Management Roles
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Anneke Zwart
Student (University), Netherlands

Differing HR Practices for Standard and Contingent Employees

A common way to differentiate the workforce is by making a distinction between standard and contingent employees:
- Standard Employees are those employees who work for an organization on a permanent basis. They have established an ongoing relationship with their employer.
- Contingent Employees perform a job on a temporary basis. They perform jobs that are based on a contract of limited duration.

Besides the obvious differences in duration of the relationship with their employers, the HR practices induced to manage these categories of employees also differ:
- Standard workforce HR practices: HR practices for the standard of permanent workforce are “high-road” practices. These HR policies are characterized by strong employee commitment and large investments. High-road HR investments include monetary incentives, investments in employee training and empowerment, and better job security.
- Contingent workforce HR practices: because contingent employees have a weaker bond with employers, as compared to the standard workforce, fewer investments are dedicated towards these employees. Those so-called low-road HR investments are characterized by weaker employee commitment.
Source: Stirpe, L., Bonache, J. and A. Revilla (2014) “Differentiating the Workforce: The Performance Effects of Using Contingent Labor in a Context of High-performance Work Systems” Journal of Business Research Vol. 67 Iss. 7. Pp. 1334-1341


David Wilson
Manager, Canada

Benefits of a Contingent Workforce

Hi Anneke: Interesting post: - Are there advantages of using a contingent workforce? The use of sea... Sign up

K.Narayana Moorthy
HR Consultant, India

Advantages Disadvantages of Standard & Contingent Employees

A contingent group of employees is one with people working for an organization on a non-permanent ba... Sign up


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Human Resource Management Roles
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