Go to main content

Contingent workforce strategies

Dec 20, 2023

Strategies for your contingent workforce: How to unleash its full potential

Contingent workforces can be invaluable resources, providing internal teams with flexibility, specialized skills, and cost efficiencies. However, maximizing the value and productivity of contingent workers can be challenging.

Read on to discover top strategies for tapping the full potential of your contingent workforce. This includes recognizing how these workers can help drive efficiency and competitive advantage in dynamic markets.

What are contingent workers?

Contingent workers, also referred to as independent contractors or 1099 workers, are skilled professionals who temporarily lend their expertise to organizations. Leveraging contingent workforces on a project-by-project or short-term basis can be an effective way to boost flexibility in staffing. While freelance or contract workers are used in many industries, this talent is especially integral for:

  • Technology
  • Healthcare
  • Construction and manufacturing
  • Retail
  • Finance
  • Hospitality
  • Service sectors

A Staffing Industry Analysts report from 2021 reveals that the U.S. contingent workforce included 51.5 million professionals, representing 35% of the nation’s workforce and generating $1.3 trillion in revenue. The surge in the use of contingent workforces stems from their value in three areas: scalability, handling high-demand project phases, and specialized skills.

The challenges of contingent workforce management

Even with the significant value contingent workforces provide, adopting this staffing model can bring challenges, including:

  • Integration: Contingent workers may have trouble adapting to a company’s culture. It can also be difficult to integrate them into the workflow of projects.
  • Compliance: Labor laws, regulations, and contingent workforce tax requirements are complex and change frequently, making it difficult to ensure adherence.
  • Retention: It’s necessary to foster engagement and loyalty among contingent workers. For best results, managers should make the same effort with contingent workers that they do with their full-time talent.
  • Performance management: Because of the nature of contingent work, evaluating and aligning the performance of these individuals can be complex.

5 best practices for maximizing the value of your contingent workforce

There are a few strategic practices that can maximize the potential and productivity of contingent workforces. Let’s take a closer look at each:

1. Establish clear communication channels

Set up transparent communication channels for contingent workers to ensure clarity in task assignments, expectations, and feedback mechanisms. This includes regularly updating these workers on company news, policies, and changes so that they feel connected and valued. Consider using a dedicated platform to manage questions and updates, minimize confusion, and empower temporary workers to perform at their best.

2. Introduce integration initiatives

Schedule orientation sessions, offer mentorship programs, and provide access to collaboration tools. Each of these can encourage teamwork, enhance morale, and boost productivity.

3. Leverage engagement strategies

It’s critical to develop engagement strategies for contingent workers that are similar to those for full-time employees. Take care to recognize achievements, celebrate milestones, and offer professional development opportunities. These can be effective ways to cultivate belonging, loyalty, and commitment — and drive up productivity and work quality.

4. Implement performance metrics

Actively track contingent workforce performance by establishing clear, fair, and relevant metrics aligned with project goals. This might include project completion rates, quality of work, adherence to deadlines, client satisfaction, or overall contribution to the team’s objectives. Greater visibility into how temporary workers function as part of the team ensures accountability. Plus, regular feedback creates opportunities for course correction, enabling contingent talent to grow and amplify their impact on project success.

5. Prioritize compliance measures

Ensure your strategy remains compliant with labor regulations and industry standards. With contingent workforces, pay attention to employment classification, contractual agreements, workplace safety standards, data privacy, and anti-discrimination laws. A comprehensive understanding of and adherence to these regulations mitigates risk and can build trust and credibility with your contingent workers.

What are the benefits of a more effective contingent workforce?

Enabling your temporary workforce to achieve its maximum potential unlocks benefits such as:

  • Agility and scalability: Contingent workers can help organizations scale the size of their workforce as demands change. This promotes flexibility in resource allocation, which is essential for success during peak periods and on special projects.
  • Access to specialized skills: Leveraging temporary talent allows organizations to take advantage of specialized expertise and niche skills they may not have on their internal teams. This can enhance a group’s innovation and problem-solving capabilities.
  • Cost efficiency: With a contingent workforce in place, companies can reduce fixed labor costs associated with permanent staff and reduce overhead expenses.
  • Enhanced productivity: Allocating specific tasks to subject-matter experts can improve a team’s productivity, efficiency, and the quality of their work.
  • Fresh perspectives: Pulling in external, specialized talent injects new ideas and diverse perspectives into organizational projects, which can foster creativity.

Assembling a skilled contingent workforce on demand

Employbridge stands out as an unparalleled ally, offering solutions that empower organizations to optimize their contingent workforce management.

From consultative hiring models to self-service digital platforms like Bluecrew, Employbridge’s Workforce-as-a-Service offerings ensure seamless access to scalable talent — enhancing productivity and financial flexibility. What’s more, our data-driven insights and commitment to upskilling programs ensure a future-ready workforce, all while our cutting-edge digital platform provides real-time access to high-quality talent and actionable data.

Ready to harness the power of contingent workers effectively? Contact us to learn more about how Employbridge can support your organization.

Employee presenting at a meeting with others - what Is Workforce Management

Related articles

Creating a Safer Warehouse: A Warehouse Safety Checklist

January 04, 2024

The Benefits of Working with a Staffing agency

December 22, 2023

Managing Warehouse Employees

December 13, 2023

Explore Employbridge