Contingent Workers: Basics and Common Benefits to Businesses

Recruiting has always been a challenging aspect of human resources for many companies, and especially so with changing societal circumstances the last couple years. One group that’s proven quite valuable to many companies to aid in their recruiting efforts: Contingent workers, which is a broad term for a group that includes freelancers, contractors, consultants and other third-party individuals providing services.

At WTA, Inc., we’re happy to assist a variety of business clients with all their recruitment and hiring needs, plus numerous other HR services like payroll, risk management, immigration compliance and more. In part one of this two-part blog series, we’ll go over some basic areas where contingent workers add value, while part two will dig into a few important themes to keep in mind while utilizing contingent workers for your business.

contingent workers benefits businesses

Contingent Employees Fill Gaps

In many cases, contingent employees can be used by businesses to fill gaps in time, skills and disciplines needed to complete their projects. There will always be a new project on the horizon for most companies, and it can be hard enough to plan hiring at any one time; but if we think back to the changes in our society recently, it’s even more difficult to know when you’ll need to hire extra people for your workforce.

Not only do many companies need contingent workers because of this difficulty, but also because the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that it can be very expensive to hire new full-time employees, including $4,000 or more just in the costs of advertising. With contingent workers, businesses can avoid the costs of recruitment, training and ongoing employment that comes with hiring a new full-time team member, as well as keep their expenses more predictable by only hiring when they need to.

Specialized Expertise

In other cases, the primary reasoning for hiring contingent workers will be to add to the expertise of your existing team. Along with needed talents and abilities, it can also be beneficial to hire contingent workers that have specific industry experience. Doing so may help you avoid cost overruns and other mistakes related to having employees who don’t understand all aspects of your business model.

Possible Conversions

For some companies, contingent workers are hired in part on a “trial” basis — if they’re a good fit and provide regular value, they will often be converted into full-time positions. In fact, a recent SuccessFactors/APQC benchmarking survey reports that “75 percent of contingent workers were hired on a contingent basis with the intention of converting them to permanent employees.”

For more on how contingent workers provide value to businesses within their recruitment and hiring needs, or to learn about any of our human resource services, contact the pros at WTA, Inc. today.