In today’s dynamic world of work, the flexibility to expand or contract your team based on the demands of the business, is one that is highly beneficial. This is where contingency hiring, also known as project-based or short-term hiring, helps. Here you recruit talent on a per-project basis, with the understanding that the relationship does not extend beyond the duration of the project, unless you wish for it to continue. This ensures that you are able to get your work done professionally and on time, without having to worry about the entire recruitment and training process.
Today, a significant part of the workforce is made up of highly talented freelance workers,contractors, consultants and those with specialized skills who may not be a part of the regular
employee pool, but can be highly beneficial in enhancing the workforce. In fact, as per Deloitte, more than one in three workers in the US are contingent based and this figure is expected to grow by 40 percent by 2020. In the UK, around 4.7 million workers identify themselves as self-employed, as per the 2017 Labour Force Survey by the Office of National Statistics.
In India, too, companies are increasingly looking at contingent talent to augment their teams, particularly in the IT sector. The Indian Staffing Federation (ISF) estimates that flexi-staffing industry is likely to account for more than 10 percent of India’s formal-sector workforce, by 2025.
With disruptive technologies ensuring that managing a contingent workforce is much simpler, more businesses are also looking beyond the traditional full-time employee setup, to specific need-basis or project basis talent. According to the EY Global Contingent Workforce Study, which surveyed 200 senior business decision makers and 1,000 individuals from the US gig economy, 50 percent of organizations surveyed stated that they have seen a significant increase in their use of contingent workers in the last five years.
Hence, whether you are looking to add on to your team for a short period of time or have a specific project that needs specialised skills, here are five ways that having a contingent workforce will benefit your business:
Save cost: Full-time employees mean huge financial commitments, right from the salaries and benefits to furniture/equipment costs. On the other hand, contingency workers are often self-employed and come without the frills attached to full-time employees. Hence, even if as an employer you may have to pay the consultant you are hiring the same as your employee, you would save up on aspects such as employee benefits, office/stationery space and utilization, provident fund contributions. You also would only need to pay the talent for the specific work that they do, hence you are not left with employees whose profiles are redundant.
Save time: In a survey conducted by human capital solutions company CareerBuilder in the US where they conducted a poll with 1,025 employees, it was found that 60 percent of companies are worried about the costs associated with delays in filling up positions. Here is where a contingent workforce may help. Contingent workers are often already specialized in their fields, thus reducing the need to hire and train people just to see them leaving. You also save up on the time you would otherwise need to spend interviewing people and getting the administrative documents ready for new recruits. This is especially beneficial in cases of emergency when you need to fill up a position, urgently. In addition, with a contractual worker, you are hiring for the specific talent, and hence do not need to worry whether they will fit into your work culture in the long run. Once the work is done, both you and the consultant, are free from any obligations.
Be agile: Contingency hiring allows you to add on to or contract your team depending on business conditions - this is especially beneficial in case your business is one that sees a variability in staffing across the year, or is project intensive. You can create contracts for a week, a month or a year – completely based on your requirement. Contingency workers can also fill up roles in case regular employees go on leave or sabbatical.
Get special skills: Suppose you plan to branch out into a new direction, decide to get into a new field or need a very specific set of skills for a short while, hiring a project-based consultant would be the best way to go about it. A contractual consultant would bring specialised skills from across industries and domains, having worked in areas that you want to now venture in, hence already bringing with them ready skills you are looking for, without having to hire and train them. These specialized workers know what their jobs entail and, hence, can jump right into the role. Furthermore, by hiring contractual talent you can also dip into a vast pool of highly talented individuals, who may otherwise not be willing to take on a permanent position.
Get broader perspectives: With fresh talent comes fresh perspective and knowledge that you can gain from. Hence, the more contractual workers you hire, the more unique and fresh ideas you would get for your business – a must in today’s highly evolving world.
From saving up on cost and time and ensuring that you have the ability to staff as per the demands of your business, to bringing in highly specialized talent with fresh perspectives to the table, your business will benefit in multiple ways from working with a contingent project-based workforce.