6 Considerations When Hiring Your First Contingent Workers

  • Written by Lilly Miller

When comparing the business environment of today to that of 2 years ago, we can see many changes. Change in the work environment is natural, but the COVID-19 pandemic had a huge and rapid effect on our businesses. One of the biggest changes we can experience today due to lockdowns is remote work, an event that resulted in many layoffs. These workers need to be replaced with someone less demanding on the company’s budget, and the answer is the contingent workforce.

What are contingent workers you might ask? This workforce is made up of independent contractors, freelancers, consultants and all other workers working in a company temporarily. In most cases, employers choose to hire contingent workers to finish a certain task or train new employees. Hiring a contingent workforce has many benefits, but finding and managing these remote workers is often hard. Before you hire your first contingent workers, it’s important to learn about all the things that will make managing them easy, fast and cost-effective.

Identify your gaps

While contingent workers can offer countless benefits to your business, it doesn’t mean you have to switch your entire workforce to a temporary-hire basis. The first step to creating a contingent workforce is to examine your entire workforce and find gaps that are better filled with workers on a non-permanent basis. For instance, you might have a department that requires specific digital skills or expert help to finish a task, or maybe you have to satisfy your seasonal demand. There also may be some projects that can be handled by freelancers so your full-time employees can dedicate time and effort to more important tasks.

Be aware of their capabilities

Since they are self-employed, contingent workers function as a separate business. Knowing what they can and can’t handle and how much time they require for certain tasks will help you manage projects and different worker teams. Usually, freelancers work for several companies at the same time and you can’t control how they divide their time and where they do their work. Be aware of their capabilities and contingent workers will bring many benefits to your business.

Know how to find employees

If you’re feeling a bit anxious about hiring contingent workers or don’t have time or money to dedicate an entire department to hiring, onboarding and paying contingent staff, don’t worry. It’s easy to find HR and hiring agents that will do all the work for you—this is called an Employer of Record. These practical Employer of Record services eliminate all the worry about meeting compliance and classification standards because all the work is done by third-party experts. An Employer of Record ensures that your business is compliant with all the latest tax and withholding laws as well, so your organization can aim its focus and resources on business growth instead of contingent employee management.

Find a good management system

When you know all the gaps that can be filled with contingent workers and know how to properly hire them, you will start reaping many benefits. You will have a low-cost workforce of skilled people that provide your business with great flexibility. However, managing a wide range of employees among your contingent staff is not easy. You will need to create a management process that’s optimized so it can create many opportunities. With a clear management process, you can boost your management efforts while reducing costs at the same time. In the process, you will get to organize your talent pool, ensure easy onboarding and offboarding, create clear differences between permanent and temporary workers and track everybody’s performance and costs.

Automation for management

In recent years, management technology has advanced significantly, so you will need to take advantage of automation to help your management process. Organizing your first set of contingent workers is certainly confusing and virtually impossible to perform without mistakes if you choose to disregard automation since your procurement and HR department will be overwhelmed.

Any successful contingent workforce management program has technology at its core, and automation can be used on everything from scanning resumes to providing a database for the company and tracking employees and their projects—basically you will get access to a program that provides your business with everything you need for contingent workforce engagement (acquisition, management and payroll managing). Expect to be required to keep your software updated at all times to streamline your business.

Consider hiring for fit

In some cases, you will realize that a contingent worker has the potential to be valuable to your company in the long run, so don’t hesitate to ask them to stay. They might be temporary today, but they don’t have to stay temporary forever, so it’s important to consider the temp’s fit into the company culture when hiring. Hiring for fit will strengthen your hiring process and create a pool of candidates that will require very little training in the future.

It might be complicated with your first contingent workers, but considering expanding your contingent staff might help you grow your business and give your full-time workers time and space to work more efficiently.


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