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Finding Stability in Flexibility

By Tim Smith, President, Thompson Technologies

Seems like an oxymoron, “finding stability in flexibility.” However, the notion of improving stability within your department by using flexible staffing options is really spot-on. There’s a perception that by using contractors, clients will be continually training new hires and managing the ambiguous revolving door. The reality, though, is just the opposite. When engaging in flexible staffing options, clients open their doors to many advantages that are not always there with direct hires. I’d like to share five reasons why using contractor or contractors-to-perm instead of hiring a full-time person can be to your advantage:

  1. Try before you buy. In this economy, trying before “buying” is like a safety net. Hiring a contract professional with the option to go permanent ensures a match from several standpoints. You have the opportunity to make sure the skill set is a fit, avoid performance discrepancies and you can make sure the individual fits into the culture of your organization. At Thompson Technologies, we offer a two-week guarantee. It’s like a quality promise: if our client is not happy with our candidate within the first two weeks, we will immediately rectify the situation.
  2. Lower cost-per-hire. Because staffing companies specialize in all aspects of hiring, the process is typically accomplished in a more efficient and cost-effective manner. With the latest technologies for identifying the best-fit candidates and a proven system for recruiting and hiring, companies who partner with a staffing firm are able to save resources by taking advantage of economies of scale and putting people to work on their projects faster. Plus, candidates typically do not need the extra expense of training and are often at the top of their game.
  3. Ability to scale team up and down. Projects are often needed for short-term objectives and do not require the skills a full-time hire has to offer beyond the scope of a specific project. In these cases, working with a staffing partner affords companies the ability to scale up with a contractor for the duration of the project and then scale back when it’s complete. In the meantime, companies might identify a project for which they will need the contractor’s continued expertise, in which case they have the choice and flexibility to extend a contract.
  4. Access to talent. I would be remiss not to mention what might seem obvious. Staffing partners are able to research candidates in a way that is simply difficult and costly for companies to do on their own. Since our focus is staffing, we have access to loads of resources and the tools to identify highly skilled, top-level talent that’s otherwise not available. Staffing firms can easily and quickly narrow down your search to find talent with your precise required skill sets.
  5. Reduce opportunity costs. Bottom line, when working with a staffing partner with whom you have an established relationship, that partner is like an extension of your onsite team. Your goals are, or at least should be, their goals. As a result, you maximize opportunities by getting your team up and running or supplemented quickly and competently, leaving your full-time team with the bandwidth to focus on core functions.

So, the next time you put a project on hold because you are holding out for a budget that will accommodate a full-time resource, consider more flexible staffing options such as contractors to move ahead.

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