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Sometimes your business may hit a financial bump and need to conserve funds. Whether due to downturns in the economy or reduced profits, you may find in order to move forward, you’ll need to take a temporary step back. It’s good to have a plan in place for this situation, but unfortunately, common options include hiring or pay increase freezes, or layoffs—none of which are desirable. However, you have another option to prepare for tight times.

Build a contingent workforce

The term contingent workforce refers to a portion of your staff consisting of temps or contract workers who can be easily released during a budgetary downturn. By increasing the number of contingent employees in your workforce or replacing a percentage of your full-time permanent staff with contingent workers, you can rest assured you’re prepared for times when you may need to act fast to protect your bottom line.

Benefits of a contingent workforce strategy

This method of staffing helps you gain more control over your finances and offers the following key advantages:

  • Easy downsizing. It can be difficult to let your permanent staff go, especially if they’ve been with you for a while. But contract and temp workers understand their placements are not forever, and they’re less resistant to being let go. Plus, these types of employees automatically have a plan in place for their next assignment, as ever-shifting opportunities are part of their job description.
  • Avoidance of layoffs. By employing contingent workers, you can protect the tenure of your full-time permanent staff. This will help you avoid mass layoffs, which can harm the positivity and productivity of your work environment.
  • Help when you need it. Contingent workers are available if and when you need them, and offer you the flexibility to staff up temporarily.
  • Minimal training. Staffing agencies work hard to place candidates with you who are well matched to your job descriptions—so they’ll come with the skill set needed to get the job done. In addition, many staffing firms offer onboarding assistance, so your contingent workers can be up and running with minimal time and effort.

When to use contingent workers

You may have a fluctuating need for temp or contract workers, and it can help to forecast and build contingent hiring into your staffing strategy. Contingent workers can especially help your business when:

  • The economy downshifts, necessitating a thinning out of your staffing expenses.
  • You haven’t met sales quotas, so your profits won’t allow for additional staff.
  • A merger or acquisition is imminent, and you anticipate redundancies and the need to staff down.

Conversely, you can also use contingent workers when:

  • The economy is doing well and a plethora of available jobs make contingency work more attractive, increasing your candidate choices.
  • Your business is booming and you have increased staffing needs to help meet all customer demands.

How many temps/contractors do you need?

Your recruiter will work with you to understand your staffing situation and help you build a strategy that works best for your company.

McGrath Systems can help

We place qualified professionals with positions in administrative, light industrial, IT engineering and human resources positions. Our staffing industry experts understand blended workforce solutions and will help you build your best-fit staffing mix. To learn more, submit a request for information or contact McGrath Systems today!


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