Traditionally, it has been viewed that utilizing a contingent/variable workforce was only for peak periods of time when there was a spike in demand for a particular service or product (i.e., holidays, new product releases, etc.). Fast forward to today, the idea of creating a workforce comprised of both traditional employees and variable/fractional works has become more attractive than ever. For many companies, large and small, it has become increasingly difficult to balance keeping resources at a level that aligns with demand. In short, many companies have begun using a strategy that leverages independent workers or contractors to fill in workforce gaps when it is needed most.

When you look at what comprises the workforce of a company, it may surprise you to find out that many organizations fall into three buckets, rather than the most traditional “FTE or full-time equivalent.”

  • Full-time employees – Staff members that work on a full-time basis whose skills and availability are needed on a full-time basis during structured business hours.
  • Long-term contractors – Staff members whose services are needed for more than a single project, but who are not tied solely to an organization.
  • On-demand workers – contingent and variable in nature, these workers often fill gaps in the workforce during periods of short-term growth or organizational change.

When looking at the benefits of a variable workforce, you can identify positives across the board. For companies, simply stated, keeping overhead low and variability high during uncertain times is the ultimate goal. In addition to meshing talent with demand, companies are also given the flexibility of not having to pay for benefits and traditional employment taxes on their variable workforce. The beauty of a variable workforce is also in the ability to procure talent in a variety of ways. Through technology, top talent is now more accessible than ever. Freelancers and “gig employees” are available through a variety of apps and websites, and there are many companies that help find talent on a fractional basis that will essentially pair with a company already in the place of the HR team.

Utilizing a variable workforce can be extremely cost-effective for companies across all industries. Whether the talent need is in software engineering or in talent acquisition, there are a plethora of options that help keep a workforce flexible during uncertain times. If your team needs additional help in the recruiting department due to expansion, or a previous layoff, Lucas James Talent Partners is an ideal option for flexibility and cost containment.