In the past decade, workers have sought more independence and flexibility in their jobs, and companies have grown more intentional in hiring employees with the right skills. As a result, there has been an uptick in contingent workforces. This new dynamic brings a myriad of benefits as well as challenges. Here's what you need to know about those challenges and best practices when managing a contingent workforce.
A contingent workforce refers to temporary workers, including consultants, freelancers, or independent contractors. They work on a contractual and are paid hourly or by deliverables. These workers have more flexibility on when and where they work, instead of sticking to a nine-to-five routine. Depending on a project's workload, companies can upsize or downsize without going through layoffs.
Contingent workforce management simply describes how a company handles its contingent workers. It encompasses the policies, processes, activities, and guidelines necessary to incorporate them into the company.
Generally, there are two approaches a company may take: an exclusive or inclusive approach.
In the former, the company handles contingent workers as a separate group of employees and bypasses existing HR processes and systems. And in the latter, companies incorporate contingent workers into their normal HR practices. That said, combining different elements from the two approaches can create an array of contingent workforce management methods.
Contingent workforce management varies depending on the industry and culture. Often, the process is influenced by factors outside the company's control. Despite this, here are some best practices to guide your implementation and achieve operational excellence.
The hiring process for permanent employees is different from that of contingent workers. For permanent hires, the process includes posting job positions, receiving applications, identifying the best candidate, interviewing them, and hiring. With contingent workers, the hiring process may be based on recommendations or previous collaborations.
Most HR policies and processes that support permanent employees don't support contingent workers. Contingent workers will likely hit the ground running without much paperwork and training.
Contingent workers add flexibility to the company and help with the bulk of work. However, you need a system where permanent employees can engage with contingent workers to finish work on time. This could be possible by granting all employees access to the same communication avenues. In addition, invite contingent workers to meetings, so they can share their concerns and ideas.
Documentation clarifies the process of hiring contingent workers. For example, are nondisclosure agreements and contracts signed? Are onboarding activities taking place? Additionally, are the expectations of contingent workers and managers defined? Documentation gets rid of blurry lines that could cause trouble down the line.
Learning the ropes of hiring and managing contingent workers may be something you are willing to do. However, it will cost you valuable time and resources. Conversely, outsourcing this responsibility to a company like MetaExperts can ensure a smooth transition between periods of high and low workload and finding the right talent for the job.
Having contingent workers is a huge plus for the business. However, it's good to be on the lookout for some common pitfalls. Consider these four.
A contingent workforce adds a lot of value to a company. To derive this value, these workforces must be managed effectively and seamlessly integrated.
Are you still considering the idea of hiring contingent workers? Wondering if it's a good choice for you? Contact MetaExperts today for a free consultation to learn about your choices.
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