While hiring temporary workers is a concept that has been around for many years, it wasn’t until the pandemic broke out in 2020 that it became such a popular solution. A combination of travel restrictions, supply chain disruption, and business slow-downs and shut-downs led to employee furloughs and layoffs. At the same time, grocery stores, online retailers, and quick-service restaurants went on hiring sprees to fulfill increased demand for touchless delivery.
Meanwhile, after years of mixed results from remote work experiments, many companies had to quickly shift to fully virtual offices to accommodate social distancing mandates and ensure the health and safety of their employees and clients. So, what can we expect in the future when it comes to hiring non-permanent staff?
Contingent workforce will continue to grow
While many of those who had been laid off have since returned to work in the same job, it’s safe to assume that the contingent workforce concept will continue to grow. One of the reasons is that it expands the work options of this population, offering flexibility for individuals with in-demand skills.
Since employers find hiring a contingent workforce very cost-effective, there is no reason why the trend will not continue. Next, a contingent workforce enables resilience when an organization needs to increase existing resources to meet a sudden spike in demand or to fill talent gaps. Also, until the Covid-19 vaccine rollout reaches a critical mass, companies will also need to have effective end-to-end testing programs in place to protect on-premises workers and the people they interact with.
That’s why most companies have invested in more digital communication and collaboration tools, which allowed them to continue with their operations and helped them get ready to hire the right talent, regardless of where they are.
Another great benefit of hiring a contingent workforce is flexibility. We are still a long way from being able to have all the employees back in their offices and many businesses have now changed their modus operandi to embrace remote working. Also, seasonal businesses can rarely afford having many employees on their payrolls.
That’s why they find a contingent workforce a perfect solution to their problems. Finally, certain products and services are periodically in demand, which means it’s difficult for the companies providing them to meet the spikes in demand. Again, hiring contingent staff is the best solution.
What other benefits are there for companies?
To begin with, they’ll be able to save money on a fixed payroll or in head-hunting and temp-work agency fees, especially if they are a small or medium enterprise that might require a small number of temporary workers. On the other hand, some companies need help from experts, such as the reputable CXC Global America, to help them manage and retain top contingent talent.
Next, there is payment transparency. Companies will be paying real work and not just admin feed, but they’ll need to be ready to manage their own on-demand staff to avoid the fees some agencies charge both from companies and non-permanent staff. Such a challenge can be daunting and each manager needs to make an honest assessment of their capacity to do all that on their own.
As we’ve already mentioned, companies working in unstable or seasonal markets might want to start small and build their community of freelancers through on-demand staffing. A network of useful contacts can give them the security of being able to source skills (or even full-time employees!) whenever they need them. Finally, there is the issue of results. They can be instant.
When time is tight the need for extra help may come at the last moment, it’s quite useful to have your own team of on-demand staff to support you day-to-day. That allows companies to respond to crises faster and find an extra pair of trustworthy hands in a very short time by reaching out to their own network of temporary workers and freelancers.
Needless to say, not everything is perfect when it comes to hiring contingent staff. To begin with, the difference between a contingent workforce and a traditional one isn’t always clear and classification laws vary in each state and even city, which is why you need to ensure that you’re in compliance with all applicable laws. The contract you sign needs to provide a clear, accurate job description, note their exemption status, and outline a pay rate and a time frame. In a nutshell, the more detailed, the better.
Also, finding the right contingent workforce can be difficult and time-consuming, which is another reason you might want to consider turning to experts who can ensure a streamlined approach to contingent workforce management regardless of talent source, as well as clean accountability for all stages of a contingent worker’s contract through a single provider. This allows your organization to free up its resources to focus on growing the business instead of managing HR by offloading tasks.
In a nutshell, the trend of hiring contingent workers will surely continue and it will only get stronger in the future. Despite some obstacles, the potential benefits are too great to be missed, which is why we can expect the labour market to continue changing.