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Signs you need a contingent workforce

Perception vs. Reality

Lots of people graduate college expecting to head to a secure, well-paying, intellectually satisfying job. But that’s increasingly not today’s economic reality.

Employers need specialized expertise on demand; not necessarily for the long term. And it’s not just business driving this trend; a large majority of the contingent workforce are free agents by choice. Some want to have more time to raise their children, care for an ailing parent, and even become rock stars.

Why not try candidates on for size as they’re trying you on?

Market Considerations

Contract workers are paid, and sometimes hired, by the hour. That gives the employer the ability to scale. Plus, contract work is expanding into every corner of the economy. Within a decade, many labor economists believe the contingent workforce will outnumber full-time employees.

The question of loyalty comes up frequently when we speak to clients about bringing on contract workers. Another reality is that, yes, loyalty is becoming a thing of the past. Contractors handle retirement savings and health insurance on their own, changing the relationship between employers and workers.

But here’s a good tradeoff: Contract workers often move horizontally due to the nature of the beast. This means a more dynamic worker—someone with cross-functional skill sets which they’ll apply to your business.

The rise of the contingent workforce comes at a time when companies are seeing increased turnover. Businesses are moving away from trying to keep employees around longer and are instead reducing costs associated with turnover by embracing contingent workers.

Here are some signs that your company might be ready to change with market trends and take on a contingent workforce:

1. Team-wide skill gaps

It’s not news that technology evolves at a rapid pace, so it can be difficult for a team in any industry to have all the digital skills your business needs. To move forward with projects and remain competitive, you need to act fast. You simply don’t have time to search for a full-time permanent employee with your desired skill set. Hiring a contractor means less sourcing, onboarding and training. Contractors are pretty much guaranteed to hit the ground running.

2. Employee burnout

If employees are complaining that it’s difficult (or impossible) to get their work done on time, that’s a sign of too many responsibilities and not enough people to handle them. If they’re noticeably fatigued, consistently working overtime, or their performance is too often inefficient, it’s entirely possible they’re feeling the crunch. Maybe you’re headed into a crucial quarter and wondering how your employees will be able to take care of their demanding workload in the high-pressure season. These are all signs you should consider hiring contingent workers. Doing so will avoid the overhead investment of hiring a permanent employee, while enabling you to lessen the burnout your team is dealing with. It may also keep your current people from leaving and adding even more to the plates of those remaining, making your staffing situation that much more dire.

3. Need talent on a budget

For high-level positions that require advanced education, the costs of hiring a new employee can be 213% of their annual salary. Even if you aren’t looking for someone so senior, the cost of hiring and training any salaried employee is about 6-9 months of that salary. If you’re already on a tight budget, you know hiring a permanent employee is just not possible. Bringing a contingent worker on through a staffing company like Infinia takes the hassle out of finding qualified talent without an added fee. Plus, you don’t have to make the costly investment that is training, health coverage, 401k savings plans, vacation, life insurance or dental insurance.


If any of these symptoms describe your business, it may be time to make that bold decision and add an extra pair, or more, of hands. Having a structure in your business where 70% of needs are tackled by contingent workers and 30% by full-time employees might be just the thing to keep your company flexible and fresh. Or maybe your company requires a different variation. Talk to an expert at Infinia. We’ll make sure you have exactly what you need—no more, no less.