Companies with a strategic vision of the future often require particular skill sets for short-term projects. Rather than hiring full-time, salaried employees, these organizations can leverage contingent workers to affordably complete tasks on schedule.
What is contingent staffing?
The contingent workforce is made up of professionals who work on a per-project basis. These professionals may be known as contractors, consultants or freelancers. Depending on the type of work they are hired to complete, they may work remotely or on-site. A business can hire contingent staff on its own or leverage a staffing agency to find qualified candidates. These individuals pay their own taxes and do not count as payroll employees.
Generally, members of the contingent workforce are highly skilled. A primary employer advantage of the contingent paradigm is the ability to draw from a pool of qualified talent without needing to put up as much of an investment as permanent workers require. In most cases, contingent workers receive few or no additional benefits except any provided by the staffing agency.
However, it is important to remember that there is a tradeoff associated with utilizing contractors. They typically work independently from the business's management structure. They tend to receive fewer specific instructions from managers because they are expected to be highly competent in their fields. This also means that the employer has less control regarding how the contingent worker completes his/her work, the equipment that must be used, and the company policies attributable to the employee. Violating these parameters may make the employer liable, with the employee claiming that they should be considered a full-time employee rather than a contractor. For this reason, a number of employers rely on staffing firms to manage this process for them.
When is contingent staffing necessary?
Companies in a growth phase benefit from using contingent labor by gaining skilled talent at a lower cost, compared to permanent employees. The lower administrative cost associated with contingent workers allows companies to continue to invest in their products and services without substantial financial risk.
The contingent option is ideal for organizations launching a new product, expanding into a new market or embarking on a project that is outside of the business's typical offerings. Administrators don't have to spend any time handling payroll, taxes and other typical associated tasks, which protects the employer's resources and generates more opportunities for building sustainable growth.
"Contingent workers are ideal for short-term projects."
Additionally, there will be times when a company needs a one-off project, and it doesn't make sense to hire full-time employees. For example, if a manufacturing business needed a graphic designer to develop marketing materials, the employer likely wouldn't need to hire someone permanently. Instead, management could rely on a staffing agency to draw an experienced designer from the agency's talent pool.
"The flexibility of the contingent hiring model can be particularly beneficial for employers," says Shakira Irizarry, Recruiting Manager for Beacon Hill's Pharma Division in Wakefield, Massachusetts. "If a company is trying to meet a deadline or just needs added expertise for a specific duration, it's much more efficient to engage a staffing firm to assist in finding the right specialized contingent candidate."
Larger organizations that regularly require additional staff members for short-term projects can partner with an agency to receive workers as the need arises. This way, if a manager finds freelancers s/he enjoys working with, it's easier to onboard the workers when they're needed. Plus, the risk of costly employee turnover decreases with use of contingent workers, thus freeing up additional resources for new projects.
How do you find contingent workers?
Finding top-performing contingent workers is as simple as calling a staffing agency. Whether an organization has one project in mind or a number of tasks requiring outside help, an agency can find the right talent and deploy it in a timely manner. Additionally, a staffing firm can provide flexible solutions, addressing talent needs across the entire supply chain. Common talent solutions include contingent workers, freelancers, scope-of-work contracts and part-time employees.
If your organization needs high-quality talent at a reduced cost compared to full-time staff, consider contacting the talent experts at Beacon Hill Staffing Group today. Our team can help you determine which talent solutions will drive growth and limit risk for your business.
This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.