How to implement an effective contingent workforce recruitment strategy
According to Staffing Industry Analysts’ Workforce Solutions Buyer Survey 2018, respondents report that 22 percent of their staff is currently contingent, and project that by 2028 that figure will rise to 30 percent. As the blended workforce continues to grow, it’s becoming increasingly important to perfect your company’s recruitment strategies to consistently hire strong permanent and contract candidates that will drive business growth. No matter what industry you focus on, the ability to implement an effective contingent workforce recruitment strategy that is part of your overarching hiring plans is essential for success in today’s competitive job market.
“Many companies in the Retail and Home Furnishings and Electronics sectors are missing out on an opportunity to get key projects done using the growing GIG economy,” according to Bill O’Malley, Managing Partner of Connector Team Recruiting. As I talk with leaders in our industry they talk about fears they have including; competition in areas such as the Digital play arena and the big changes in Supply Chain and Technology to name just a few examples. They describe a strong desire to grow and keep up with these changes. They also describe the reluctance to add management staff which I truly understand since I spent much of my early career in industry leadership roles. Adding a full time equivalent to a management team is a huge commitment to your P&L and operating structure. I think this is very prudent of these executives to weight these pros and cons carefully.
There are cost effective and very scale-able solutions available today at all levels of the organization. Having a portion of your workforce contingent gives you maximum flexibility and allows you the ability to get projects done when times are very good, then scale back without the negative impact of cutting back your full time workforce when the next downturn materializes.
Our Contract Staffing Team in Philadelphia is outstanding in making sure that what we refer to as “payrolling” of these contract staffing professionals is professionally managed and administered. From my seat and view contract professionals are an amazing group of people, they are super talented and generally blend in very easily with your current team. The big plus is that if these on demand professionals are not a good fit, a great staffing firm will quickly replace them with another. With the increasing demand this part of the workforce has become comfortable with change and they embrace it and are not insecure about the assignment ending. They know there is another project when this ends in fact many will tell you they have a choice of assignments to accept.
As you continue to read this article our team emphasizes the need for creating a strategy around this much like your overall branding, marketing or any other major strategic goals.
“Many newer companies make the mistake of assuming that coming up with an effective contingent talent acquisition strategy can happen overnight,” said Tim Ozier, senior director of contract staffing sales for MRINetwork. “The reality is that identifying hiring needs, searching for right-fit candidates and screening takes extensive time and consideration. Generally, the most successful strategies unfold with the help of staffing companies.”
Whether you are running a startup tech company or managing a team of long-time engineers, you and your organization are going to need a strong recruitment strategy, ensuring that you are focused on the talent decisions that will actually affect the organization’s ability to reach its business goals. Consider these methods for executing an effective plan that works for your team:
Strive to maintain balance
No matter how good your retention rate is, changes in employment are expected within any company. New projects, changes in strategy, new market opportunities can all have an impact on the staffing levels and skill requirements of any organization, big or small.
However, it’s key that your organization is always thinking two steps ahead when it comes to your contingent workforce recruitment strategy. While not all exits from the company can be anticipated, workforce planning is most effective when it resolves talent gaps while maintaining a balance of labor surpluses and shortages. This is best accomplished by using predictive analytics to monitor workforce trends inside your business, as well as in the external environment. When a company can accurately forecast future job openings, analyze current demand and talent, and measure predicted resources, it improves talent acquisition. “This ability to look ahead and recognize what your company will need and when, can enhance the success rate of recruitment,” said Ozier. “Keep one eye on current challenges – and one eye on future needs that your organization must prepare for.”
Encourage a blended workforce
Today’s workforce looks much different than it did even several years ago. With the onset of remote work, the gig economy and the appeal of telecommuting, it’s becoming rare to find a company filled completely with full-time, in-office employees. From the top down, organizations and employees can reap the benefits of a mixed workforce but first, your company needs to be on board with this kind of work environment.
One way to do this is by including discussions around the blended workforce during planning sessions with the entire organization. Demonstrating how contingent workers can help drive the organization’s bottom line, while cutting costs at the same time is key. In many cases, contingent workers are hired for projects that could not be completed by existing staff. Overall, creating clear means of communication across all sources of workers is beneficial.
Expand expectations of contract workers
In the past, contingent workers were mainly brought on for short-term projects with an official deadline in place. Today, not all of these employees operate on fixed-term contracts. In fact, there are long-term contracts that can last up to several years, or even indefinite contracts with no official end date.
If companies continue to view this pool of candidates as merely temporary, they are largely missing out on the talent that is today’s world of extremely skilled top performers. While you may only think of contingent workers as one-time fixers, merely filling a gap in talent while saving on costs, you’re losing out on the wealth of knowledge these highly skilled workers have to offer.
According to figures from a recent study published by Oxford Economics, IT, healthcare, public service agencies, financial services and professional services are among the top sectors using contingent labor as a solution. These organizations that require niche expertise can highly benefit in the long-term by sourcing from this top talent.
“Both organizations and contingent workers benefit greatly from contract staffing,” said Ozier. “Many times, the relationship and outcome is so great, these employees are later hired as permanent workers.”
Work with a staffing company
Industry focus is key for finalizing your recruitment strategy and the best way to do this is by working with a staffing organization. Not only do these agencies have working relationships with top talent, but they understand the specific skill sets needed in your given industry. When it’s the top candidates within your sector you’re looking for, staffing organizations can help you find them. Instead of training an inexperienced worker, you gain access to the right candidate for the job at hand. The recruitment firm takes care of all the talent sourcing, background checks, and preliminary interviewing activities to deliver highly qualified workers. For both permanent and contract work, this single-source solution can help you implement the best contingent workforce recruitment strategy.
Blog Post by: Bill O’Malley, Chief Recruiting Officer at Connector Team Recruiting. Connector Team is recognized by leaders and leading consultants as the premier search firm in the Furniture | Appliance and Sleep vertical space. Connector Team is an affiliate office of MRINETWORK recently ranked in the Top 10 in Recruitment Firms by Forbes Magazine.