Delivering the highest level of performance and expertise for the least amount of money. Isn’t the mandate of every staffing company? It’s simple, but not easy.

It’s particularly difficult when serving those clients whose workloads – and needs – ebb and flow. Your own in-house needs might fluctuate as well.

The contingent staffing model may just be the answer both you, and your clients, are looking for.

Spherion Corp., the staffing and recruiting firm, released a study commissioned by Harris Interactive indicating some 60% percent of workers prioritize time and flexibility ahead of compensation and other traditional retention factors.

This group was labeled by Spherion as “emergent workers.” However, not very many companies are tapping into this potentially fertile and high-producing group. The Spheron study finds only 19% of American companies are embracing the emergents.

A chunk of that reason might be obvious; it requires a change in your organization’s thinking, culture, org structure and maybe even written policies to incorporate and manage this group of flexible workers.

As HR strategist Dr. John Sullivan noted in an article for Workforce Management, “Contingent labor utilization is so ad hoc that more than 70 percent of firms cannot accurately account for total spending on it even though it represents 18 percent of the workforce.”

Here are a few tips for making this model work at your office – or your clients:

  • Make sure your senior internal staff is on board with the idea, and let them develop the processes and workflow management systems that will enable the contingent team and the permanent employees to succeed.
  • Don’t always give the contingent team the work “nobody else wants;” let them have their own chances to be creative and strategic.
  • Treat the contingent team not as typical “temps,” but as part of your team.
  • Cultivate a learning environment so everyone can share in each other’s expertise.

The contingency staffing model can allow you to get some top talent through your door that you might not otherwise have access to, or be able to afford. This can result in more and better output and considerable cost savings.

After all, you’re not buying the car and paying for it’s total value, you’re just leasing for a period of time.

Tags: Spherion, Industry, Job Flexibility, Contingent Staffing, Harris Interactive, John Sullivan