Workforces have never been in greater flux. South Africa currently has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, and yet businesses are also struggling to access the skills they need. There is a large disconnect between supply and demand. In response, contingent labour is fast becoming a solution for businesses and labour alike to address the crisis.
Contingent workforces provide job opportunities, while simultaneously delivering increased productivity, decreased risks, and increased profits for businesses.
The benefits of contingent labour
One of the biggest benefits of contingent workers is flexibility. Businesses that work with a contingent labour partner are able to scale their workforce up or down according to their demand cycles. This flexibility allows companies to adapt to market changes, seasonal fluctuations, or project-based work, ensuring they have the right resources when needed without the long-term commitment of permanent employees. There are cost savings too thanks to reduced overheads associated with recruitment, onboarding, and training.
Additionally, one of the biggest reasons why contingent labour is on the rise is access to specialised skills. A contingent workforce partner like BLU has built and trained a wide network of skilled and semi-skilled individuals across various industries, allowing businesses to quickly access talent for specific projects or short-term needs. This enables companies to remain competitive and innovative by leveraging expertise they may not have in-house.
The hiring process is also accelerated, ensuring projects or tasks can be completed in a timely manner, contributing to overall productivity. All onboarding, safety training and compliance issues are also handled by contingent workforce partners, which helps businesses minimise potential legal risks and ensure compliance with relevant regulations.
These benefits, combined with improved workforce management and better employee engagement are making contingent labour an attractive solution for businesses across different industries.
So, how can companies adapt and prepare for this changing landscape? Here are some steps your business can take to effectively manage and integrate a contingent workforce in 2023 and beyond.
- Develop a contingent workforce strategy: Assess your current workforce and identify areas where contingent workers can provide value, such as in specialised roles or to address seasonal fluctuations in demand. Establish a clear strategy for integrating contingent workers into your organisation, including setting objectives and identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success.
- Review and update policies: Ensure your company policies and procedures are inclusive of contingent workers. This may include revising your onboarding processes and addressing workplace safety and compliance. Your contingent labour partner will be able to assist you with this process.
- Implement robust technology: Workforce management technology includes tools for tracking time and attendance, managing contracts and compliance, and facilitating communication and collaboration between contingent and permanent employees.
- Choose the right staffing partner: A reliable contingent labour partner, such as BLU, will understand your business needs. Not only will this streamline your recruitment and onboarding processes to quickly and effectively bring contingent workers on board, but it will ensure you can quickly source talent to meet your business needs, reduce time-to-fill, and ensure a higher quality of workers.
- Monitor legal and compliance issues: Stay up-to-date with the latest laws and regulations related to the use of contingent workers, including employment classification, tax implications, and worker rights. This will help you maintain compliance and avoid potential legal issues. Once again, your contingent labour partner will be well-versed in the landscape and can guide you in compliance.
- Monitor and evaluate performance: Regularly evaluate the performance of your contingent workforce, both individually and collectively. This will help you identify areas for improvement, adjust your strategy as needed, and ensure the continued success of your contingent workforce programme. At BLU, we work closely with our clients to ensure that contingent workers are always adding value to their businesses. Continuous training and improvement are integral to the success of our workforces and one of the reasons why we continue to add value to our clients’ businesses.
Pulling it all together
As contingent workforce usage continues to grow as a trend, organisations will plan for the long-term integration of contingent labour into their business models. To leverage this trend, increase access to talent and improve productivity, business is encouraged to evaluate their workforce planning and talent management strategies to ensure their organisations remain agile and adaptable to changing workforce and economic trends.
By taking these steps, your business will be better prepared to leverage the benefits of a contingent workforce and successfully navigate the changing workforce landscape in 2023 and beyond.