What is

Contingent Worker


Contingent workers do not work for a company full-time but they instead provide services temporarily or part-time. Read the complete definition from Borderless.

Businesses are adapting to faced-paced markets by diversifying their employee structure. Many are hiring full-time employees along with engaging independent contractors and other types of help. Among these are contingent workers, who are also known as freelancers or gig workers. 

Understanding Contingent Workers

Contingent workers do not work for a company full-time but provide services temporarily or part-time. They usually work on specific projects or lend a specific skill set to their employers. Often, they take on short-term contracts. 

Types of Contingent Workers

Freelancers work independently on a project basis. Often, they are self-employed. They may have a roster of various clients and tend to prefer a flexible schedule where they manage their own time. 

Independent Contractors

Employers engage independent contractors to complete specific assignments or tasks for a fixed period of time. They may work with several companies but remain responsible for their own taxes and benefits.

Temporary Workers

Staffing agencies tend to manage temporary workers and assign them to companies for a short period of time. Temp workers fill in short-term gaps in the client’s workforce. 


Consultants are experts in their respective fields who offer specialized knowledge and advice to businesses on a contract basis.

Benefits of Hiring Contingent Workers

Contingent workers play a crucial role in the modern workforce. They offer businesses the flexibility, skills, and creativity needed to navigate a dynamic and ever-changing marketplace. 

  • Flexibility: Employers can scale their workforce based on project demands, reducing the risk of overstaffing during slow periods.
  • Access to a wider talent pool: Contingent workers often possess niche skills. As such, they can fill certain skills gaps on your team. 
  • Cost-effectiveness: Companies can save on expenses related to benefits, healthcare, and other long-term employee costs.
  • Faster recruitment process: Onboarding contingent workers is generally quicker and less bureaucratic than hiring full-time employees. This allows businesses to respond rapidly to market needs.
  • Innovation and fresh perspectives: Contingent workers often bring fresh ideas and perspectives. They contribute to increased creativity and innovation within the organization.

Challenges and Mitigations

As companies continue to embrace this trend, they must also proactively address the challenges associated with onboarding short-term workers. 

  1. Lack of commitment: Contingent workers may not have the same level of commitment to the company's long-term goals as permanent employees. Companies can address this by fostering a positive work environment and offering competitive compensation.
  2. Legal and compliance issues: Misclassifying contingent workers as employees can lead to legal complications. It is essential for organizations to adhere to labor laws and correctly categorize workers.
  3. Communication and integration: Integrating contingent workers into the existing team and ensuring effective communication can be a challenge. Regular team meetings and using collaboration tools can help bridge this gap.
  4. Knowledge transfer: The short-term nature of contingent work can sometimes lead to knowledge gaps. Companies should focus on documenting processes and encouraging knowledge sharing.

Compliantly Engage Contingent Workers in 170+ Countries with Borderless

We make it easy to onboard contractors, freelancers, and contingent workers without the need to worry about complaints. Our in-house experts have the know-how to keep you compliant while you scale your projects around the world. Book a demo now