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Hiring: Use contingent workers to fill rebuilding gaps

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Employers who have weathered the recession are preparing to rebuild their businesses.
A growing trend among owners is using contingent workers to restore their companies to prerecession levels.

Contingent workers are individuals who work part-time, under contract for a fixed period of time or on a specific project. They also may be known as temporary, leased, on-call or contract workers.

Increased demand and benefits
The initial reason for hiring temporary employees was to fill in for absent, full-time workers due to illness or time off during a vacation; today nearly 90 percent of employers use some form of temporary staffing on a regular basis.

According to Staffing Industry Analysts, a contingent work force advisory board, contract staffing is a $70 billion a year market with nearly 60 percent spent in professional and technical areas, creating high demands for temporary workers in all industries. Experts predict that 2010 will bring even higher contract labor usage as employers begin to rebuild their businesses.

Businesses are opting to hire temporary employees over permanent employees because of the benefits provided to the employer. Besides the immediate cost savings of hiring temporary workers, a contingent work force can offer flexibility in staff and lower employers’ contributions to employment taxes and benefit plans.

Another perk to hiring temporary employees is observing a potential hire’s work quality, compatibility with other employees, and ability to fit into the company culture. When determining if an employee will be an asset to the team, employers are not required to pay for an associate’s health insurance, pension benefits, include them in payroll accounting or cover them under workers’ compensation insurance. During a time when every penny counts and results matter, these savings add up.

Contingent workers can see benefits, too. Working on a temporary basis for different employers allows them to increase their skill sets, networking circles, and flexibility in their work lives.

The search for contingent workers
Employers may see more potential candidates and save time using staffing agencies as job seekers take on an entrepreneurial spirit and flexible work schedules become a priority in their daily lives.

Most agencies specializing in temporary staffing work with their clients to understand their staffing needs, allowing the employers to focus on the tasks at hand – getting the job done and rebuilding their businesses.

Although employers have some benefits in cost savings when dealing with contingent workers, utilizing workers in collaboration with a staffing agency means that contract workers are not left without benefits that permanent staff members receive. Most staffing companies manage temporary employees as full-time workers – offering benefits including health insurance, paid vacation, and 401(k) plans.

In today’s job market, driven by a results-based work environment and work force flexibility, contract employees are becoming a solution. Employers who maintain a contingent work staff can profit from reduced fixed costs and flexible solutions in a fluctuating economy. At the same time, contingent employees are seeing higher flexibility in their choice of work and schedule.

Sharon Snow is owner and manager of Express Employment Professionals in Springfield. She may be reached at[[In-content Ad]]


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