There used to be a time when companies had a steady in-house workforce and many workers would stay with the same company for years. Businesses understood the system and knew how many employees they needed day after day year after year. But times had changed nowadays and so did the way companies hired workers. To accommodate these changes companies started to look outside the boundaries for certain specialties or ramp the number of workers up and down as needed. Today many companies use what is referred to as a contingent workforce. Managers hire different types of workers from information technology, engineering, construction, and manufacturing through a wide variety of different manpower outsourcing services. It may sound a little bit weird but that is how the companies are functioning presently. Contingent workers are relatively cost-effective and don’t have additional frills such as elite time or overhead costs.
We’ll discuss more advantages of contingent workers in this article.
Who are the contingent workers?
A contingent worker is a group of individuals hired to supplement existing workers on a contractual basis. A contingent worker is typically an independent contractor or an outsourced employee hired to work on a specific project or contract.
Contingent workers solutions are prevalent in business sectors including finance, administration, information technology, engineering, construction, and manufacturing. Contractors employed under government contracts usually have finite employment terms based on contract awards.
Employing contingent workers allows for service demand to be met with ease without causing the same financial and administrative burdens as hiring permanent employees. The ability to quickly and officially use highly qualified personnel during increased productivity is a significant advantage of contingent workers. The cost of labor is usually the most potent business expense and hiring quick skilled workers can be challenging.
Employers who hire contingent workers are usually in industries with fluctuating hiring demands. Various solutions can meet these needs including long and short-term contracts, niche labor and volume hiring.
Types Of Contingent Workers-
Various types of contingent workers available are:
- Temporary Workers- Temporary or Temp workers are ideal for a project based on a specific skill set for a specific time. From lab associates to code testers and sales associates, temp workers help teams achieve their goals. Their skills can come in handy for a specific time period.
- Consultants- Consultants help companies cover a skills gap. These types of contingent workers are equipped with the skills that are required to execute a project efficiently and add good value to your team.
- Independent contractors- Independent contractors come with a high level of knowledge and skills. They help the organization cover skill shortages. They come with their own advantages and disadvantages.
What are the employment rights for contingent workers?
The company does not employ contingent workers, they are independent contractors, contractors of third parties, or consultants.
Contingent workers can take on many shapes and duration and become a part of the team just like corporate employees without incurring the overhead costs. Even though contingent workers are not technically employees of the company, they will function just like them on a day-to-day basis which is another advantage of contingent workers.
Advantages of hiring a contingent worker-
The advantages that contingent workers offer are listed below:
- Filling skill gaps and access to experts-
A contingent worker is usually a highly skilled individual with a specific set of skills. Among the best ways to fill skill gaps within an organization is to hire such professionals. The majority of companies and especially SMEs have difficulty covering all bases. With a permanent workforce, it’s not easy to have expertise in all areas. If your workforce is lacking a specific skill, you can use contractors to cover those gaps. Contractors can offer specialized expertise to the organization that can be required for particular projects. Using a contingent worker for a specific task gives you an experienced professional at your disposal. It is unlikely you can find a worker with the same skill level on a full-time basis.
Businesses in the 21st century must be flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances. A contractual worker’s temporary short-term nature fits perfectly with that requirement. A contingent workforce does not bind a firm to an inflexible or long-term contract. Another advantage of contingent workers is that they are resources that a company can use as needed. Contingent workers can be used if a firm has a sudden flow of work. Their expertise allows them to select the right contractor for specialized projects. As soon as the period of cooperation ends business responsibilities to the freelancer end as well.
- Streamlining the hiring process-
Hiring for your business is often a complex process to solve a simple problem. Your organization needs to hire talented individuals and add skills to succeed. While that may sound easy but it requires a great deal of effort and time in practice. Recruiting the right candidate interviewing them and onboarding them is necessary. A contingent workforce comes with much less red tape which is one of the many advantages of contingent workers. Freelancers and contractors with experience are often available at short notice. Finding and hiring a permanent employee would take much longer and the cost of hiring full-time employees is considerably less.
- Reduces cost and financially effective-
Since contingent workers are not full-time employees, they prove to be very cost-effective. Employers do not need to provide them with cost benefits like retirement benefits, Provision Funds, healthcare, medical benefits, vacations, or overtime pay. Contingent workers are generally paid upon an agreed rate. Once a contract is finalized, and the terms are accepted, there will be no more conversation about the payment.
- Trial of a new approach-
Another advantage of contingent workers is that they allow firms to be more adventurous. Diversions are also a very risky proposition and innovating can make the difference between good and great. However, making wrong moves may have disastrous consequences. An organization can more easily try new approaches if they hire temporary staff. This company can provide all the staffing needs for a new project without becoming a long-term contractor partner. In case everything goes well, there’s a possibility of making a permanent relationship and if not, it’s easier to walk away.
- Choose the right fit-
With contracted employees, you can ensure that they are the right fit for your team’s long-term health. When they hire incorrectly, employers find themselves faced with unwelcome circumstances regarding employment and benefits issues; this is not the case with contract labor. Before committing to making a contract worker a part of your internal team you will be able to evaluate how they interact with your co-workers and what types of contribution they can make. Initially, you may limit their responsibilities and then expand them as their talent is discovered and evaluated over time. You may negotiate a conversion agreement with them if they have performed well to keep them as internal employees. In addition to highlighting their colleague’s talent and work quality, contract workers can also provide insight into their own. One of the advantages of contentious workers is that they often bring years of experience and that talent can set the standards for the rest of the team.
- Marked and touched factors- Many passive job seekers go and notice when companies hire internally. They don’t use job boards or apply for jobs through websites. They often rely on their extensive network for new job opportunities. Most of the contractors will place our referral and former loyal source contractors who trust us with their next opportunity. We have a network of people reaching out to us directly instead of using job boards or social networking sites to find their next job.
IT leaders often need to hire contingent workers to adapt to spikes and workload and to address skill gaps in a project. But to get the most out of this workforce, managers need to pay careful attention to these workers. Just as the best gardener knows how to get the best out of their crops, plan the best arrangement, prepare the soil, and cultivate the vegetables as they grow, the same type of preparations needs to be done for a contingent workforce.
Contingent workers have different driving motivations from traditional salaried employees like learning new skills and higher salaries. Employers need to plant the seeds of success to ensure the candidate’s goals and interests align with what the company can offer. Managers should examine the candidate’s capability to perform well with the team. To avoid workers getting stuck in the weeds, leaders should give formal and informal feedback to clarify roles, establish objectives, provide opportunities and make sure their business strategies align with the goals of their contingent workers.
When continued workers complete their projects, managers should perform transfer acknowledgment and exit interviews. Effective off-boarding ensures the pollination of this critical insight and knowledge into the organization’s operating rhythm. Contingent labor is sprouting up everywhere to get the most benefit from the IT team, managers must be prepared with the appropriate tools like sourcing, screening, onboarding, performance management, and off-boarding.