The workplace is replete with cultural nuances and digital advancements inspired by our ever-changing labor ecosystem. Among the elements redefining the workforce, is the desire for flexible hours to dodge bumper-to-bumper traffic or accommodate family obligations and remote opportunities. Seamless connectivity has framed the way we conduct business, leading to a surge in labor diversification, including the number of temporary, remote, freelance, and outsourced labor.
This rising trend can also be attributed to the increasing number of millennials joining the workforce. According to BLS data, on average the 25 to 34-year-old employee spends less than three years at a job – a drastic contrast from those over 55, who remain with their employer for an average of 10 years. This shift, coupled with political and economic uncertainty has propelled employers to seek strategic solutions for increasing their workforce.
Whether you are seeking to add a permanent employee to your team, need to cover a temporary void from a maternity leave, or you require an individual who can execute an application upgrade, hiring contingent workers can provide a number of benefits for your company.
Bringing on a temporary employee is sometimes considered an extension of the interview process, enabling you and your management team to evaluate that individual’s performance on the job. Determining cultural compatibility, as well as how a candidate will respond once immersed in their role is often difficult to predict solely based on the face-to-face interview.
Let’s delve into a few of the characteristics that a great temporary employee exhibits and the subsequent benefits of hiring a contingent worker.
A Hunger for Knowledge
Inquisitiveness and a demonstrated thirst for intellectual growth is a trait that will make you feel like you’ve hit a home run. A temporary worker who is keen on understanding the many facets of your business could prove extremely valuable to the future growth of the company. Even if you are looking to fill a contract position, finding a candidate who is equally curious about the day-to-day functionality of their role as they are about ‘why’ their position can be a vital asset to company’s overarching goals is extremely important.
Adaptable & Compatible
Contingent labor can supply employers with a flexible alternative to making layoffs or overloading staff members with additional responsibilities to compensate for a new project or a worker out on disability. Temporary employees with a specialized skill set that cannot be found internally can be hired to support a particular project or undertaking. Talent can also be leveraged on a temporary basis for seasonal demands, a fluctuation in production needs, or to step into an opening that crops up when an employee resigns unexpectedly. These workers can safeguard your organization from having to interrupt normal business operations.
While the temporary worker is on the job, management can gauge how seamlessly that individual integrates into your corporate culture. Look out for employees who inspire creativity, value teamwork, and amplify your organization’s overall capabilities because of their ingenuity. These are the types of contingent workers that are perfect to convert into a permanent employee or to rehire when a new opportunity presents itself in the future. Likewise, if your observations are negative – the individual appears apathetic, does the bare minimum, constantly moseys into the office late, or is unpleasant to coworkers - then you saved yourself the headache (and paperwork) of bringing them on permanently from the get-go.
Timely & Cost-effective
Employers are continually readjusting and implementing new strategies to attract and secure talent. Keeping candidates engaged with your opportunity, or gaining a competitive advantage over industry bigwigs, is cumbersome and detracts your attention away from larger business pursuits. For this reason, many companies partner with staffing agencies to recruit, vet, perform skill assessments, and even handle payroll. This allows hiring managers to redirect their focus back on core operations like driving workplace efficiency.
Hiring temporary employees can be an economical solution for coping with long-term staff shortages from medical and disability absences or maternity and military leave. Because workers are compensated solely for the hours they worked, you’ll save dollars that would otherwise be allocated toward a permanent salary. If your business is seasonal or the workload tends to vary, hiring a temporary employee will eliminate the stress of laying someone off due to the lack of work during slower junctures.
The surging number of contingent workers in the labor market has encouraged many employers to analyze their recruitment strategy to determine how effective their current processes are. Navigating the hiring landscape should be done in conjunction with your business’s long-term goals – whether that be an acquisition, an internal expansion, or plans to penetrate new markets. When done correctly, hiring temporary workers can be an optimal, cost-effective, and timely solution for the successful fulfillment of business obligations and to ensure operations run smoothly.