Consider this scenario: Your company has an open job position that needs to be filled as soon as possible. Business is good and a new project is on the horizon, but the current market uncertainty and economic slowdown has company leadership a bit worried. Can you justify the time and expense required to search for and hire a new, full-time employee? You need a talented IT professional with specific tech skills, but what happens to that employee when the project ends? Instead of hiring a regular employee, it might be time to consider contract staffing instead.
Contract staffing is a great solution for businesses looking to navigate periods of transition and growth. Instead of hiring regular staff, contract employees are brought on to work for a set amount of time, usually during a big project or when a regular employee is away on leave. Hiring contract employees vs. regular employees for these types of assignments allows companies to reduce their overall costs, fill staffing gaps quickly, and increase innovation through a blended workforce model.
As the economy continues to slow over the next year, with some analysts worried about the increasing possibility of a recession in 2020, companies will need to start applying different workforce strategies to reduce costs while maintaining output and productivity. To that end, let’s examine the benefits of hiring contract workers and look at a few reasons why contract staffing might be the right fit for your business.
One of the biggest benefits that contract staffing offers businesses is workforce flexibility. Instead of always hiring new staff to meet increased business demands, contract staffing allows a company to match their workload and specific project requirements with the right level of staff.
Let’s say a new project requires an IT specialist with significant experience developing applications on several different platforms. Finding a professional with the specific tech skills you’re looking for can be a slow and costly process, and you need someone who can start right away. You also know that once the project ends, there won’t be the need for an application development expert on staff.
This is where the benefits of hiring contract staff become apparent. By working with a contract staffing agency, you won’t waste time and resources searching for the perfect employee. A good staffing agency will find you candidates that are a great fit for the role and your company. You’ll also be able to start or end contracts at any time, meaning you can hire an experienced IT contract worker for the duration of your project. Once the work is complete, contracted staff will return to their staffing agency for another assignment, allowing your business to downsize without any negative impact on employee morale.
Another huge benefit of contract staffing can be seen in the cost savings for your company. Hiring a regular employee involves negotiating a salary and covering benefits such as health insurance, long-term disability, and paid time-off. There’s also the additional overhead cost of payroll taxes, unemployment and workers’ compensation, and all the time your HR team will spend processing and onboarding a new employee. These expenses can quickly add up, especially when you’re trying to hire an IT professional with in-demand tech skills during a talent shortage.
Hiring contract staff, on the other hand, helps dramatically reduce employment costs. Contract workers are paid by their staffing agency, meaning the agency is also responsible for tax withholding and other employment related expenses. Staffing agencies also assume most of the administrative burden involved in bringing on a new employee, saving your human resources department time and energy that can be used to focus on other priorities.
During periods of stability and growth or times of economic uncertainty, hiring contract staff can ensure you have the talent you need to meet business demands without crippling labor costs.
While most businesses hiring contract workers are focused on reducing costs and bringing on talent quickly, there are a few additional benefits that come with contract staff that are often overlooked. Contract workers are highly skilled individuals who are used to working in a variety of companies and environments. As a result, they can be extremely helpful in bringing a fresh perspective to company operations. Their unique insights can help your business innovate and improve in ways that regular employees, who are accustomed to company practices, might not have considered.
Additionally, contract employees often come with a specific skillset or area of expertise. They are used to working on niche projects and can focus in on areas that need improvement. Generally, businesses don’t have the resources to keep a specialized tech professional on staff, so taking advantage of their experience while they are on contract can be highly beneficial and can help move your business forward.
Staffing models are changing, and the rise of contract staff and independent workers has affected how many businesses operate. The result is a new model of staffing known as the blended workforce. In this type of staffing model, a core group of traditional full-time employees are supported by a mix of skilled contract workers. These contract employees are brought on for short-term needs or projects where their specialized skills are required.
With a blended workforce, regular employees provide continuity and strategy to keep business on track while contract workers fill staffing and skills gaps, reduce overall costs, and bring increased innovation to the organization.