A reliable and strongly engaged contingent workforce is a valuable asset for any business. This is particularly true in industries like manufacturing and logistics, where the flexibility to respond to seasonality and fluctuations in client demand can be the key to business success.

Recent trends have shown that many employers recognize and leverage the value of a flexible labour force.

In a study by the Economist Intelligence Unit in Q1 2019, nearly 60% of companies said contingent staff made up at least 20% of their total workforce.

the top reasons given for using flex workers were:

  • Greater agility
  • Making cost savings
  • Meeting project-specific needs
  • Seasonal or variable business needs
  • Accessing skills lacking in the permanent workforce

Given how beneficial a cost-effective, well-managed flexible workforce can be, it's worth considering what your business could gain from a new approach to contingent talent.

Here are some pertinent questions that could help to guide your decision:

is your contingent workforce program tailored to your needs?

A generic, 'one-size-fits-all' approach isn't good enough if you want the best results out of your contingent labour program. It would help if you were looking for a tailored solution designed to reflect your organization's unique characteristics and needs.

There are many reasons why flexible staffing practices that have worked well enough in the past may no longer be suitable.

Suppose the business is going through a rapid growth phase or expanding into a new geographical region, for example. In that case, you need a workforce solution that can meet your changing labour requirements in a cost-efficient way.

are you working with more suppliers than you need?

One effective way to reduce unnecessary spending and maximize efficiency in your staff resourcing is to ensure you're not working with more suppliers than you need.

Vendors have to be vetted and monitored, which takes time, and there are apparent financial considerations involved working with a range of suppliers.

Cutting your vendor network down to a limited number of trusted, reliable partners can free up your time and financial resources and simplify the process of finding the people you need.

is your overtime spend too high?

Unsustainable overtime costs should be seen as a warning sign of inefficiency in your workforce management. Left unchecked, this can lead to significant financial problems for the business.

This problem can be managed with a practical, flexible labour strategy. Working with an on-site business partner to manage your contingent workforce means you will have dedicated support in forecasting your HR needs and planning shift patterns to reduce overspend.

how many people are involved in hiring flex workers?

It's not uncommon for businesses - enormous organizations with multiple departments, each with its HR requirements - to have various people involved in hiring and onboarding contingent workers.

This can present some apparent issues, such as the complexity, inflexibility and conflicting interests that often arise when too many people are incorporated into workforce decision-making.

It's therefore worth taking the time to ensure that everyone involved in hiring flexible staff has a clear part to play and that there is no duplication of responsibilities.

can you attract the talent you need?

One of the most common obstacles facing businesses in many industries is identifying, acquiring and retaining the skills they need. The talent shortage has been identified as the top emerging risk facing organizations worldwide.

Your business could have much to gain from implementing a focused strategy that identifies your critical skills gaps and boosts your appeal to the most in-demand talent.

Optimizing your employer's brand is one of the most effective ways to attract and retain the people you need.

do you know the risks?

A cost-effective and capable contingent workforce is a significant asset, but using flexible labour can also present certain risks that every employer should be aware of.

The financial commitment involved in hiring workers, of course, but there are also legal and regulatory considerations such as misclassification, which can have significant financial and reputational repercussions.

Working with an on-site workforce management partner like Randstad Inhouse Services can help mitigate these risks and maximize the benefits of a contingent labour force.


Pegatron case study - recruiting in a challenging demographic area

At the beginning of 2018, Randstad partnered with global electronics manufacturing company Pegatron. In the early planning stages of opening up their first manufacturing site in Australia, Pegatron required 150 new employees to start simultaneously. 

The location of the Pegatron site made it challenging to attract manufacturing and industrial workers. The company was also keen that any 150 new hires should be educated on the values that make the company a leader in the market.

With its extensive knowledge in the area, Randstad Inhouse Services structured a plan to optimise recruitment. They placed two experienced account specialists on-site to look after the day-to-day staff management on Pegatron’s behalf.

Using the best-in-class technology platforms, an assessment centre was designed tailored to the needs of Pegatron, where the account specialists put candidates through relevant testing and behavioural-based interviews. Orientation days were organised for successful candidates to ensure complete transparency before their employment.

To ensure newly recruited candidates obtained the right skills, the account specialists acted in leadership roles providing training and coaching to upskill candidates from the start.

Read more about how Randstad Inhouse Services helped Pegatron to recruitment success.

download the case study