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HCMWorks Insights

Innovative 21st Century Solutions for the Contingent Workforce

Posted by Julia Fournier on 11 Nov 2015


The contingent workforce isn't new, but it has been growing exponentially over the last decade. Contingent workers are freelancers, consultants, contractors and temporary contract workers, among others, and they all come with specific skills that can apply on a short-term or project-by-project basis. Accordingly, 83% of executives say that they're using contingent workers more and more. Traditionally, freelancers, contractors and the like are more in use to fill in gaps in a workforce, but now their roles are becoming more critical than ever in every facet of industry.

Because of this shift, many companies have found themselves trying to figure out how to use these new assets. They're forced to change the way they think about their assets, their procurement, their relationships with their employees – everything. Where do these new workers fit, what do they do and where do we find them? As we increase our reliance on a contingent workforce, we need to learn more about what that means and what options we have.


Recruitment is always a challenge, regardless of the kinds of workers you're looking for, but contingent workers come with their own benefits in that regard. The talent pool is larger and more flexible, because there are freelancers, consultants and contractors all over the world to choose from. Simply by virtue of variety, this means you can pick the best and most skilled talent possible, regardless of their location. With technology at the level that it is too, it bridges the gap – you can communicate instantly with your contingent employees, even if they're hundreds of miles apart.

Recruiting these kinds of workers benefits you financially as well – any costs concerned with full-time employees, such as insurance, health benefits, severance packages, vacation pay, etc., don't apply. Your human resources department will have less work to do as well. While they will deal with the initial contract, the remainder of those concerns falls to the agency you hired them through, and they will answer to the head of the department you work within, which saves an incredible amount of time and resources all on its own. 

Consider using agencies to recruit for you, as it will streamline the process and save you the trouble of wading through people who don't fit your standards first. Because of a heightened demand, there is an increase in organizations that specialize specifically in contingent employees, which can help your company navigate every step of the recruitment process. As you build a relationship with an agency, they'll hone their ability to find and send you only the most reliable and effective candidates, saving you the trouble of sifting through new workers on your own. That way, you only have to concern yourself with end-stage interviews with employees who will do the best job for your company.


Over the course of any business, critical but time-sensitive projects will arise that require talent from the outside. These can be stressful for anyone, often for lack of employees with the particular required skill set, or the concern that you'll be removing employees from other important operational tasks in order to complete them. That's where the contingent workforce comes in handy – instead of exhausting your own employees, you can hire highly skilled professionals on a short-term basis.

Having a contingent workforce creates a dynamic team that can respond to any special needs your project requires. Because your workers are hired for their extremely specialized and valuable skills for individual projects, you can cut down on the overall time spent, which not only saves a great deal in labor costs, but ensures you waste as few of your own resources as possible. By adding contingent workers to your forces, you ensure the very best people possible complete your projects, within a time frame you specify.


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Tags: Contingent Workforce Management

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