When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Use Staffing

Times are tough.  If your company is like most, your staff is stretched to its limits.  Layoffs, employee burnout and drastic cost-cutting measures are part of your business vernacular.

So what’s that old saying?  When the going gets tough, the tough use staffing.  Well, that’s not it exactly, but staffing services can be a real life-saver during a recession.  They can help your company save money, reduce risks and capitalize on the current talent pool surge.

Here are five practical staffing strategies to help you match the ups and downs of our unpredictable economy:

1.       Run leaner.  If you think of contingent labor management as an unnecessary expense, it’s time to change your thinking.  Using staffing and contract labor can actually help your business lower overhead costs while augmenting your talent acquisition process.  You can reduce your “permanent” headcount to match the low end of your business cycles, and then supplement your staff with temporary employees to handle production surges, special projects, or initiatives that require specialized expertise.

2.       Offload employment-related expenses.  Staffing companies provide expensive and time-consuming services like recruitment advertising, screening, interviewing, skills testing, employment verification and drug testing.  Additionally most staffing firms now offer their employees benefits like vacation/sick/holiday pay, health insurance and 401(k) plans.  You pay only for productive work hours, while the staffing service covers all additional employment-related expenses.

3.       Avoid costly hiring mistakes.  The temp-to-direct hiring option allows you to “test drive” new hires – you can see how candidates perform on-the-job before extending an offer for direct employment.  If the candidate does not meet your needs, the staffing firm will typically provide a replacement at no additional fee.

4.       Enhance and upgrade your team.  Plan for the upturn now and get a jump on your competitors.  Business may be slow at present, but highly qualified candidates are abundant.  A staffing service can help you capitalize on this unique opportunity to upgrade your staff with top-notch performers.  They can help you analyze your post-recession staffing needs (i.e., new types of positions/skills that will be needed post-recession) and create a team that’s prepared to “explode out of the box” when the upturn hits.

5.       Reduce employee burnout.  When your team’s resources are stretched, burnout becomes a real issue.  Using temporary employees can relieve some of the burden.  They can help reduce overtime hours, lower absenteeism, minimize turnover and even lower worker’s compensation claims – all without increasing your permanent employee headcount.