Contingent workers are people who provide services for your company but who aren’t your employees. These workers could include freelancers, temps, consultants, or other people you hire for specific tasks or projects. This working arrangement has become more common in recent years, so if you’re not using contingent workers yet, you could be soon.
The growth of contingent workers has brought many advantages to companies, as well as some challenges.
Reasons behind the Growth of the Contingent Workforce
For businesses, there are many good reasons to use more contingent workers. In industries with fluctuating demand, contingent workers let companies quickly adapt to busy or slow periods. During busy times, you can hire some temps or freelancers to support your full-time employees. Once demand slows down, those contingent workers can be easily let go.
Contingent workers can also help companies reduce their labour costs. When you hire new full-time employees, you provide them with vacation days, a benefits package, and other expensive extras. That’s not necessary for your contingent workers.
With contingent workers, your company can supplement its internal talent. For example, as you start using analytics in your HR department, you could hire a data analyst as a consultant. That consultant could help you make the most of analytics, and once you’re sure of your skills, the consultant can move on.
Employers aren’t the only ones who are benefiting from the new contingent workforce. The workers like it, too. People can choose to become contingent workers to give themselves more flexibility and variety. Instead of working with just one company, they can provide their services to many companies. Contingent workers also have more control over how and when they complete their work.
Challenges of Contingent Workforce Management
If your company currently relies on a mostly full-time workforce, using contingent workers can bring some new challenges. You already have an established process for hiring, onboarding, and training full-time hires, but that process may not work well for contingent workers.
As an HR manager, you may need to create new processes. For example, you could create a different onboarding process for your contingent workers since they probably won’t be around as long as your full-time workers. The training process could also differ. When you hire a temp or other contingent worker, training could consist of a tour of the facilities and a chat about workplace safety.
Staying on top of administrative tasks can be another challenge as you start using more contingent workers. Hiring short-term workers throughout the year and letting them go after their project ends can mean a lot of onboarding paperwork. With technology, you could simplify your HR processes to bring on contingent workers more easily.
Making Contingent Workforce Management Easy
Contingent workforce management doesn’t have to be difficult for HR. To simplify the process, you can rely on your HR technology. You can automate tasks that you perform regularly, like sending onboarding paperwork to new consultants. This can save time and help you standardize the process.
You can also use your HR technology to keep track of all the new contingent workers you’re hiring. In your human resource information system, you can track the personal information for each of your workers. You can also track details about what each worker’s tasks are. With this information stored in one place, you can easily see who your contingent workers are.
The contingent workforce has grown significantly, and your company can take advantage of it. Managing a contingent workforce is easy with the right tools at your disposal.