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Core and periphery workforce

Refers to the use of a core of permanent, full-time employees and a periphery of temporary, part-time employees and subcontractors, in order to provide the flexibility required to cope with variations in demand. The core workers generally fill important roles ie roles considered to be essential to the firm’s competitive advantage, and tend to be more trained and skilled. The periphery workers may not be as skilled or well trained, or may be skilled workers brought in for a specific purpose. The core workers have a long-term commitment to the organisation and need to be carefully looked after. These people generally receive higher pay and greater access to training and promotion opportunities than the so called periphery workers, whose relationship with the organisation is either short-term, for a defined set of hours, or for a particular task. The periphery add flexibility to the organisation, for example, in terms of time (bought into cover peak demand), or specialist skills (bought into provide specialist skills which are only needed infrequently by the organisation). Although these workers generally have less secure employment, it should be appreciated that some periphery workers choose this status because it fits in better with their family and other non-work related commitments.

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