Contingent Staffing Offers Alternative to Downsizing

Laying off workers is every employer’s worst nightmare. There just isn’t any good way to tell someone “I value your service but I can’t afford to keep you on.” That’s why you see so many businesses (and employees) going to extreme lengths to avoid layoffs. Companies try salary cuts, job sharing, hiring freezes, hour reduction, benefits reduction, and other alternatives to stave off the inevitable as long as possible. The worst part of this whole mess is that so many businesses find themselves trying desperately to hire back enough workers once things start turning around. They are stuck with not enough talent just when they need it most to regain their footing and take advantage of new business opportunities.

If your business is in an industry that tends to experience cyclical downsizing, it might make more sense to plan for a fluctuating workforce size in advance. The use of contingent labor can be useful in this scenario. These workers go into the agreement knowing that they are on a contract for a limited period of time. They may get a renewal offer, or the contract may be allowed to expire if their services are no longer needed. This approach may allow you to avoid laying off your “permanent” or core workforce while giving you flexibility to cut payroll costs on short notice.

Photo courtesy of CC license by Alan Cleaver

Tags: Business