It’s a challenging time for HR professionals. They are tasked with making sure that organizations have the right people for the right roles, and mistakes can be costly. During times of rapid growth, they need to quickly hire and build teams, and in times of belt-tightening, they need to do more with less. No one likes to have to lay off workers in downturns, and no one wants to have overworked teams struggling with more work than they can handle. That’s why more organizations are looking for contingent or contract workers right now, as the pendulum between rapid growth and hiring freezes. And they are turning to TalentReach – it’s one of our most popular services at the moment.
We think there are three main reasons to utilize contract or contingent workers: 1) Flexibility 2) Cost and 3) Specialized Skills. Let’s expand on each.
- Flexibility. As mentioned above, organizations don’t want to hire and fire based on rapid business cycles. Contract workers are able to come in during rapid growth or on specific high-priority projects and get that work done, then leave when the project is finished or the organization enters a more quiet period. They are a great tool for turning the spigot of work on or off, without stressing the organization or demoralizing full-time employees who make up the core of the workforce. Also, if the organization uses an agency like TalentReach, they won’t have to take as much time of HR or hiring managers who can focus on other tasks instead of time-consuming interviews, offers and onboarding. Contingent workers should be as valued as full-time employees, but they serve a different function and allow maximum flexibility for an elastic workforce.
- Cost. Contract workers can command a wide-range of compensation, but an organization is not usually paying the high costs of a fully-burdened full-time employee, with insurance, vacation time, and other benefits. Also, less time employeed is less money. A contract worker who is paid for six months for a project is obviously going to be less hit to the budget than a FT employee drawing a salary for 12 months a year, inclusive of slower times. That’s just math.
- Specialized skills. We often have to explain to clients that contract workers do not have to have the same skill set as their peers. A full time project manager and a contract project manager might have similar titles but very different skills. Some of our best contract employees thrive on parachuting into an environment in crisis and excel at one specific task that is crucial. We like the football “special teams” analogy: Sometimes you just need one skill, like kicking the football, and you need someone very good at that. That same player isn’t the one you’re looking to to be the quarterback. In engineering it can be pushing a software development project over the finish line, in marketing it might be managing a new product launch. When those things are over, the need subsides and the contract employee can move to their next gig, and the organization can go back to their original team.
There are other reasons to use contingent workers, but those are the top three benefits our clients cite when using them. Another thing to remember is that some workers absolutely prefer to be contingent workers: flexibility is a two-way street. Some like to work on those time-intensive projects for six months to a year, then take a break. For this reason, it’s important to understand why their resume might look different than a candidate looking for a full-time role. They might like a higher hourly rate (which is often but not always) associated with contract work as a fair trade off for the lack of benefits. It is usually a win/win situation for both employee and employer.
Some roles that see a lot of demand for contingent workers:
- Program/Project Managers
- Product Managers
- Business & Functional Analysts
- Change Managers (Organizational Effectiveness)
- Software Development Engineers (Full Stack, Front End, and Back End)
- DevOps Engineers
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention how easy TalentReach makes it for organizations looking to utilize these skilled contract employees. We can source the talent and manage all the administrative details. It is a huge time saver for HR professionals and hiring managers. We handle everything from hiring to payroll and scheduling – you just bring the work to be done. As these challenging economic times continue, contract workers are a tool you can’t afford not to have.
Interested in some talented contract or contingent workers for your team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free discussion about what we can do to help you.