Do you want to start hiring contingent workers? If YES, here are 6 proven advantages of hiring contingent workers for your business in 2021. Contingent employment simply means that a worker’s position with a company is temporary. The individual is not an employee of the business, and therefore isn’t hired on a permanent basis.

Typically, contingent workers are hired to complete a project. Most times, contingent workers come with specialized skills, like an accountant or electrician. Unlike regular employees, a company doesn’t always need to tell a contingent worker how to complete a project. Instead, contingent workers use their judgment.

If you want to hire a contingent worker, then you do not need to handle employment taxes. Contingent workers who are independent contractors are tasked with paying their own taxes because they are self employed. Contract workers are on the Employer of Record’s payroll, not your client’s. The Employer of Record might be you or another third party provider of contract staffing back-office services.

Contingent workers understand that they are not part of a company’s permanent staff. Sometimes, contingent work can turn into permanent employment, like if you want to hire a contract worker full time. This type of arrangement is known as a contract-to-hire agreement.

According to reliable reports, the use of temporary workers is much higher in Europe than it is in the United States; 14.3 percent in the EU compared to 3.8 percent in the US in 2017. However, the growing need for (digital) upskilling and the continuous outflow of baby boomers leave many organizations with vacancies to fill. Note that 45 percent of employers can’t find the skills they need.

For organizations with over 250 employees, this number is even higher; 67 percent of them report talent shortages. Tapping into the market of contingent workers can be one way to address these issues. While many contingent workers may take contingent work because they prefer it to no work at all, work on a contingent basis may offer a transition to full-time employment and help workers to maintain current skills.

Also note that contingent work may be an individual’s preference for a number of reasons. Workers may prefer contingent work because of preferences for certain types of work and/or flexible hours. Also, working parents may prefer to schedule work time around child care or school hours. Some professional, technical, and managerial workers may find it better to work on a contract basis.

Older workers may choose to keep their earnings within the limit imposed by Social Security legislation. Additionally, some workers may prefer contingent work because it provides for change and increased stimulation as they move from job to job. Since there are various types of contingent work and many different types of contingent workers, management is expected to pay attention to how contingent work is used in the organization.

With shortages in skilled workers a common concern across many industries, organization’s today depend on agile, flexible and on-demand labour if they are to access top talent, prepare for rapid scalability and grow their business. As a result, these non-permanent workers come with a huge range of benefits for any organization. Below are a few reasons any organisation might opt for a contingent worker instead of a permanent employee.

What are the Advantages of Hiring Contingent Workers in 2021?

  1. Filling the skills gap

In today’s market, many organizations are finding it quite hard to assess workers with critical skill sets. With this growing challenge to bridge skills gaps in their workforce, many are turning to the contingent workforce to acquire top talent.

Note that by making use of the gig economy and hiring external workers, organizations are able to make sure they have access to workers with specialized skills to complete work on a project-by-project basis. This is a great way to supplement your internal talent.

  1. Flexibility

For instance, your organization has just landed a big new client – and the project that comes with that. This creates an immediate need for a project team including some subject-matter specialists. Hiring one or more full-time employees will probably take too long, but finding a contingent worker with the right skills and expertise can be done in a matter of days.

In terms of upskilling, you may find that there are certain (digital) skills your workforce currently lacks. Cultivating those skills in-house can take a while, especially if the business needs them to stay ahead of the competition, or at least to not fall behind.

Hiring a contingent worker can be a great way to kill two proverbial birds with one stone; you will have access to the right skills immediately and the temporary employee can transfer (part) of their skills to your current employees. That way, by the time the continent worker leaves, you have had the opportunity to build the capability you previously lacked.

  1. Fresh perspectives

Indeed new faces bring new ideas, and that is just another benefit your organization can realize from non-permanent workers. The flip side of this is that a static workforce, made up of employees that have been with your company for years, can often lead to a lack of creativity and “inside the box” thinking.

Notably, your internal workforce is very crucial to the success of your business, but sometimes it can just take one external worker to completely change the way a certain aspect of your business operates – for the better. A highly specialized and skilled worker can drive your business forward and encourage growth during the time they work with your company.

  1. Additional talent pool

Have it in mind that both the contingent worker and the organization they temporarily work for can look at this period as a test phase. Do they see a fit? Would they like to turn their temporary contract into a more permanent one?

For organizations, contingent employees can be a valuable additional talent pool, one they’ve already had (a great) experience with. They know how those people work, what their strengths are, and whether or not they fit in the company culture.

  1. No need to train/highly specialized

Also note that Contingent workers are often highly specialized in what they do. Organizations may require these specialists every now and then for certain projects, but not on a permanent basis. Therefore, instead of spending (a lot of) money on training people in-house, companies can hire a contingent worker to help them out.

In addition, working with a contingent expert is that they tend to have a lot of experience. This means that they don’t need a lot of training to get started. They know how to get the job done and are able to do so autonomously.

  1. Fewer costs

Hiring a contingent worker is financially interesting for companies. They usually pay fewer taxes for contingent employees and no employee benefits. According to financial reports, benefits for private industry workers in the US account for 29.8 percent of total employer compensation costs.

In other words, choosing a contingent worker instead of a full-time employee saves American organizations almost 30 percent in benefit costs alone.

Conclusion

Owing to the current state of the global workforce, it’s safe to say that the contingent worker is here to stay. Companies will continue to tap into the market of contractors, freelancers, on-call workers, and what not to meet their people needs.

Disadvantages of working with contingent employees include the fact that they can be less committed to the organization, integrate less easily, create a higher turnover, and can present a security risk if they haven’t been screened properly.

Ajaero Tony Martins