In this follow-up to the previous post regarding long-term trends, I will explore the transition from full-time employees to contract-based employees and temporary work. Note that I was going to explore each trend in order of appearance, but I will be going to Nicaragua at the end of June to explore that story a little more, so I’m doing them as I work on them. What? It’s my blog, I can do what I want.

Here‘s a recent story regarding growth in temp staffing. The reasons for more temp staffing are fairly obvious. Full-time employees come with required benefit packages – health care, unemployment insurance, paid leave (maybe), and a variety of other mandatory expenses. Temps have none of this. They get a paycheck and that’s that. Ditto contractors, including those high-priced consultants. I think this is good news, as long as you are prepared for it. If you thought that you’d be getting a full time position with a big firm and stay there for 30 years… well I have a BA in History you might be interested in.

So how to make money on this trend? Aside from being a contractor yourself, I mean. First, start a staffing agency. Second, invest in existing staffing agencies (e.g. Manpower, Kelly Services). Third, design training programs for contractors so they can stay on top of the latest developments in their field. Four, develop re-training programs to help former full-time employees transition to the contractor mindset. Five, become a contractor’s agent (different from #1). I wanted five more ideas, and maybe I’ll come up with some more later. Also, the first five here might be terrible. Or, they could be great. Anyway, let me think a little more about each one.

#1: Start a staffing agency. Yes, there are a few big ones, and a bunch of smaller ones. The problem of matching is what they solve: they’re essentially brokers of job placements. Depending on your locale, you may have an opening here. Smaller towns usually don’t have a higher-end temp agency, so you might have an opportunity to assemble a high-skilled team that can do long-term contract placements. Then, as the temp agency owner, you could establish it as a mutual, or a LLP and the contractors could all co-insure for the times when there’s not much job action.

#2: I’m currently doing an analysis of Manpower. They are a global firm, mostly in Europe and the U.S. though. I’ll share more on Manpower when I’m done with the analysis. And, if I can figure out how, I’ll post my model spreadsheets (let me know in the comments if you know how to do this on Liberty.Me). If I can’t post it here, I’ll put a link to my work website.

#3: This would be a great value-add for a staffing agency. But anyway, if you are a specialist in a field you can develop a service where you design training programs showing new workers how to do the fancy stuff. For example, are you an expert in Python, or Java? Time to start creating training videos for these languages! Then offer a training service for those who want to get deep into learning the languages. That’s just one idea, for this item. We’ll think of more in another post.

#4: The hard part for former full-time employees, who are likely to be older people (50+), is how to transition to this type of work. This is an opportunity for someone with a career services background, because you are going to help these individuals learn how to (a) find opportunities and (b) present themselves. They might also require skills training, which brings us back to #3.

#5: Are you a great networker? Find it easy to meet people and ask them about their business needs? Congratulations, you are now a contractor’s agent. I like this idea but it’s a junior version of #1. It won’t require any capital outlay, just get your website set up and start making calls. Maybe write a short book (and publish it here! and on Amazon) about networking and finding opportunities.

Any ideas to add? I don’t know if the above are any good, but feel free to pursue any you find interesting! I’ll roll out the Manpower (NYSE: MAN) analysis as soon as it’s ready.

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