The Many Benefits of a Flexible Staffing Strategy

By Robert Half April 25, 2017 at 8:29pm

Finding the specialized talent companies need is not as easy today as some employers may think. More than nine out of 10 CFOs interviewed in a Robert Half survey are optimistic about their company's potential for growth, but two-thirds said the search for skilled candidates is a challenge.

Most executives and managers agree about the benefits of a big-picture staffing approach. But in the day-to-day hustle and bustle, it's difficult to take a moment to consider long-term plans when you just need to hit your deadlines. Creating a flexible staffing strategy serves your organization's needs day in and day out, all year-round.

The dangers of a rigid staffing strategy

It might seem natural for companies to continually adjust employee headcount to match business opportunities. But the unfortunate result is a demoralizing, disruptive cycle of hiring and layoffs, followed by more hiring when business improves. A better solution is to develop a flexible staffing plan that entails utilizing a dynamic mix of full-time employees and highly skilled temporary professionals. It enables firms of all sizes, in every industry to nimbly staff up or down based on workload demands.

Instead of a job vacancy or sudden new project leading you to automatically rehire the position or bring on additional full-time employees, a flexible staffing strategy gives you time to work on a more holistic solution. Take a moment to consider how your needs have changed since a position was last staffed, or whether a new project is best addressed with 100 percent full-time hires or a mix of permanent and interim talent. Staff for needs, not simply to fill desks.

Advantages to being flexible

  1. You save money.  Creating a mix of full-time and contract workers enables you to turn some of your fixed personnel costs into variable expenses by paying only for the talent you need when it's truly needed. In addition, you lower the high costs associated with hiring and training new staff while reining in overtime expenses.
  2. You improve your competitive position.  A flexible staffing strategy gives you more control over personnel. That translates to an advantage over competitors whose rigid labor structure makes them more vulnerable to economic highs and lows.
  3. You improve retention. A temporary/full-time mix provides a buffer for core employees during a layoff. When employees see they are valued through increased job security and satisfaction, plus support from temporary colleagues, it helps boost retention. When you're going through the hiring process, it's important to get things right because there are serious financial consequences if you hire someone who doesn't work out. 
  4. You free up full-time employees.  Tapping the talents of temporary workers to assist with day-to-day team responsibilities allows core staff to pursue more complex challenges and occasionally take time off to recharge as well.
  5. You can get specialists quickly.  If a new initiative requires specialized knowledge that you don’t currently have in-house, you can find project or consulting professionals for hire with extensive skills in these areas.
  6. You can try out potential hires. A flexible employment strategy allows you to observe and evaluate project professionals you've engaged and determine their fit with your core staff and management. Having the opportunity to assess a potential employee on the job provides far more insight than reading a resume or conducting an interview.

Get the flexibility you need with a skilled professional from Robert Half.

Work with a staffing agency

Experts at a specialized staffing agency help you focus your search for top interim professionals as well as full-time workers in your location and industry, quickly and successfully. The best firms have years of experience placing candidates who are motivated to perform and well-suited to specific workplace cultures.

A staffing firm also helps save you money because it can handle all aspects of the staffing process: personal interviews, technical skills evaluations, soft skills reviews and determination of the suitability of a candidate's fit with your work environment. If you've been using one of the big traditional job boards, you may be casting too wide a net and getting lots of applications from unqualified candidates. 

Top-tier staffing agencies typically have access to a large network of candidates and can swiftly pull together a set of resumes for you to choose from, expediting the process. A staffing agency can give advice on what mix of workers you need, including full-time, part-time or temporary staff. Staffing service experts are often able to identify top candidates who aren’t actively looking for a new job but who might be interested in working for you. 

After assessing your needs, a staffing agency can zero in on the most promising candidates and help cut your hiring time from weeks to days — or, in some cases, hours. Call your local Robert Half office for help implementing a flexible staffing strategy, no matter whether your industry is technology, legal, financial, administrative or creative. We bring in professionals with the skills you need, without increasing your fixed costs.

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