There is certainly still a place for temps in the Chinese workplace. However, companies are increasingly in need of a flexible group of highly skilled workers with a technical or professional background. They need these workers for specific periods of time for crucial projects and deadlines or to ramp up for spikes in business. In these situations, employers often turn to recruiters to find these more specialized candidates.
These workers don't seem to fit the mold of the traditional "temp." Therefore, they are more often referred to as contractors. They should not, however, be confused with 1099 independent contractors. In this context, contractors are not self-employed like 1099 independent contractors, but rather are W-2 employees of a third party, such as a contract staffing back-office.
Unlike temps, who are typically blue collar or entry-level office (secretarial) workers, contractors can be found in nearly every industry and in positions leading all the way to high-end executives. They generally are higher paid than temps and are utilized for longer periods of time. For instance, the average contract length for a contractor employed by Top Echelon Contracting is nine months.
Temps and contractors are similar, but they have different roles in today's workforce. We are finding that the use of contractors is getting more and more popular as companies seek more flexibility in the current economic environment.