Today's complicated and volatile business environment often means your labor needs fluctuate and change over time. For many companies, on-demand labor has become vital to staying afloat without spending more than you need. Bringing people on as needed through on-demand labor helps both you and them by supporting your changing business needs without promising permanent jobs that then become temporary.
Two of the most prominent categories within on-demand labor are contingent workforce and interim talent. Let's explore both.
The contingent workforce consists of anyone you hire as contractors on an on-demand basis. This might range from a freelance writer to work on your blog to extra delivery people in December. These workers are independent contractors and may be used either to fulfill seasonal surges in demand or to handle specific projects. They are not employees and stay only as long as their contract says, although in some cases you may keep a contingent worker on long term to handle ongoing needs.
You can hire contingent workers through vendor management software, a staffing agency or consulting form, or by contracting with them directly. These result in varied contractual arrangements, but they give you flexible access to talent to handle specific tasks.
Contingent workers vary in skills and levels, and thus cost. Interim talent is another matter. These are highly skilled professionals who are brought in to fulfill leadership or highly specialized roles.
The typical reasons for hiring interim talent are:
They are not quite the same thing as consultants, who are paid for their time and advice. Interim talent focuses on getting results, the same as key employees.
Here are some key differences between the two:
Some ways in which you might want to use the two include:
You have a business selling soap through the mail, and you get extremely busy right before Christmas. You might go to a staffing agency to hire people to help you package and ship the soap. Through most of the year, you can handle your own soap packaging needs.
Your business' website looks like it was made on Geocities. You hire a designer to build a new website. Once the website is finished and tested, you move to maintaining it yourself.
Your chief financial officer was forced to retire unexpectedly due to poor health. You have no succession plan. You hire an interim CFO to take over the job until you find the right new hire.
Alternatively, you are expanding into another country. You hire interim talent in that country to help with the complicated transition, onboarding employees, etc.
Both have certain benefits and challenges that you need to keep in mind.
Contingent Workforce Benefits:
Contingent Workforce Challenges:
Interim Talent Benefits:
Interim Talent Challenges:
Ten to 30 percent of employers are guilty of misclassifying employees as contractors. When you hire contingent workers, be careful not to force them to work set hours. You should focus on results and not exercise too much control. Contingent workers should be running their own businesses and/or working for an agency. Make sure not to misclassify anyone by accident.
Interim executives are also contractors, but their expertise means they are less likely to be misclassified. Make sure to talk to an employment lawyer.
The gig economy has become a growing trend. Unfortunately, some employers are exploiting gig workers through misclassification, and politicians are fighting back. Many people, however, are choosing to work as contractors so they can work remotely and not have to live in expensive cities or move further from their families. Remote work is certainly here to stay, and that means some of the best talent is available only as contingent workers or interim talent.
Making the best use of both kinds of on-demand labor requires planning. Strategic workforce planning helps you identify needs ahead of time and put the right employees in place. Sometimes this might mean leveraging the quick impact of interim talent. It might also mean ramping up workers at certain times. Above all, labor strategies must match your business goals and provide the mix of talent needed to support objectives.
The goal is never to have a position be unfilled or incorrectly filled, and interim talent can help with that.
Today's volatile environment means companies have to be flexible in their labor strategy. Both contingent workers and interim talent help with this, and you need a blend of both. Contingent workers support your projects or seasonal demand. Interim talent steps in when you have a high-level problem such as a sudden departure or a project that your leadership team lacks the specific skills for.
As the labor landscape continues to change, on-demand labor will only become more and more important across all verticals. Let the team at MetaExperts help you meet your on-demand labor needs.
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