Call Them Temps. Call Them Contractors. Call Them Consultants. Whatever You Call Them – You Need Them!
Yes, the 2006/07 recession and its protracted recovery has changed a number of things about how companies do work, including who and how they hire. While the traditional W2 relationship between employees and employers will always have a place at the corporate table, companies have learned that using more short term, flexible ways of engaging the employee community, are often not only better staffing strategies but represent better business decisions.
Whether you call them temps, contractors, consultants, or resources, most of the flexible workforce solutions that embed these types of workers, have two things in common. 1) The workers are not engaged as the W2 employees of the companies where they work; and 2) the execution of these flexible workforce strategies are complex enough and require enough management know how to create competitive advantage when done right.
Here Are SIX Reasons Why……….
- Flexible Workforce Strategies Reduce Employer Risk. Companies avoid heavy investments on long term and complicated employee development programs in favor of shorter term “bets” on immediately available talent. By avoiding the traditional employer commitment, companies mitigate the costs and hassles of business plans that don’t turn out quite as intended. When a project gets cancelled, or a new hire doesn’t work out – the costs and headaches of dealing with those set backs are left for others to deal with, reducing fixed costs and minimizing costs without a return. A company gets the benefit of having access to talent while spreading the risks and costs associated with being the employer with other third party service providers.
- Flexible Workforce Strategies Reduce FIXED Costs. Hedge Investment Bets. Some of the talent in your company isn’t likely needed on a full time or permanent basis. For many companies a considerable amount of their work is only done on a seasonal, part-time, or interim basis, making it difficult to rationalize the costs associated with a full time employee. In today’s fast paced business environment, even high level talent is often only needed for short periods – for specific projects, to solve a specific problem, to support the development of something new. Hiring that talent in the form of a permanent or even long term commitment often doesn’t make business sense! A company’s ability to hire and focus its talent when and where they need it, and only when and where they need it, is one of the new core competencies high performance companies know they must master to stay financially healthy!
- Flexible Workforce Strategies Reduce Internal Recruiting Costs. One of the side products of temporary staffing, not talked about often enough, is the tremendous savings companies enjoy when they rely on the recruiting power of their third party staffing partners to bring high impact talent to their table. For our clients who have mastered what once was called “temp to hire” staffing, now just referenced as “strategic staffing,” costs of hire can be reduced significantly.
- Flexible Workforce Strategies Provide Unique Access to Low Cost Candidate Pools. One of the by products of the 2006/07 recession was an opportunity to expose a large number of employees to the benefits of working on short term or nontraditional work arrangements. While many employees were reluctant to accept these interim work arrangements, others found that by working flexibly, they were better able to support other lifestyle interests. The number of employees who now prefer to work in part-time or interim ways so as to stay engaged in other interests or family responsibilities has grown significantly since 2007. Tapping into this workforce, who by its nature is not driven by money, can significantly impact a company’s ability to contain workforce costs.
- Flexible Workforce Strategies Engage More Productive Employees. A flexible workforce not only provides quick and easy access to candidates for hire, but it also makes available candidates who have already been seen in action, and have been screened on the job to be better “fits” for the jobs being filled. Employees who are the right fit, out produce their equally qualified but less well matched counterparts, two to one. Fast moving companies who need to be continually prepared to up size their core workforce, experience the benefits of keeping a part of their workforce in an auditioning mode – “always interviewing”. When hiring kicks in, great employees are ready to be hired quickly, with high levels of hiring success. When business slows down, the auditioning workforce can be quickly downsized without impacting core employees.
- Flexible Workforce Strategies Facilitate Change – Companies Can Move Faster, Better, Easier. Need specialized talent to develop a new product, explore a new market, or master a new technology? Most companies need to act on opportunities quickly, and can’t wait to develop the required talent from within. Specialized “temps” with professional level skills can often provide the kick start needed to move quickly or drive change.
While the roots of the temporary staffing industry date back to a time when employers needed a way to manage core employee absences, in the 80’s the industry learned how to help employers flex up or down depending on business cycles. Today the value delivered by the interim staffing industry is much broader and more strategically focused than ever before. Flexible, just in time workers have become a mainstream component of most employers’ workforce’s – for some employers making up over 40% of their total workforce. Whether these workers are called temps, interim professionals, contractors or consultants they represent one of the most powerful ways for employers to “get work done” quickly and cost effectively.
Employers who have mastered the management of diverse flexible workforces, and have learned to embrace the organizational and financial benefits these workforces produce, know that the workforce strategies represented by these workers are anything but temporary.
This article was written by Jeanne Knutzen, President and Founder of the PACE Staffing Network. PSN offers a network of general and specialized recruiters and a full menu of recruiting support services. If you need help finding or hiring the right employees, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 425-637-3312 for a confidential conversation about your current or upcoming hiring needs.