Welcome to our guide to alternative staffing! Staffing issues continue to plague business as one or the most time-consuming and expensive facets of management. Staff turnover, training, competitive wages and human resource issues are important. They take up a growing percentage of business operating expenses, damaging the bottom line.

Many potential solutions to these issues have been in the news. However, no clear answer to the management of your employees has emerged. Accordingly, alternative staffing is on a dramatic upswing in the past few years. Cutting-edge businesses are trying to take control of their HR departments through alternative means.

What is Alternative Staffing?

Alternative Staffing is a relatively new medium which replaces the old paradigm of interviewing, hiring and training employees through a company’s HR department. Instead, companies hire short-term contract staff members, frequently through an agency that specializes in Alternative Staffing. They are then put to implement and complete specific projects.

These contractors are useful on a part-time or as-needed basis until specific deliverables have are complete. Then, the contracts can be made null. Furthermore, that’s without any of the issues that would normally appear. These include: severance pay, HR issues and the accompanying negative effect on the morale of normal employees.

Who Uses Alternative Staffing?

Alternative staffing is a powerful tool. It can do wonders for a company management aiming for a simple and agile approach to business. Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory systems cut down on wasted excess product and product shortages. In the same way, alternative staffing provides the exact staff required to bring projects and deadlines to completion. That’s without creating unnecessary overhead through the creation of numerous new full-time, benefited positions.

Companies with an eye on the bottom line enjoy these benefits. As do companies that are looking to get through particularly busy times of the year or other short time periods (such as product launches). They can now use expert staff who will no longer burden the company infrastructure once the immediate staffing requirements are over. Companies that are going through unusually high growth periods will also utilize alternative staffing. That’s their way to keep up with accelerating growth without burdening the company. Excess permanent staff that might have to be trimmed later is not okay. When you finally get out of that tough period, you don’t want to fire half the company.

How to Implement Alternative Staffing

The first step in implementing alternative staffing is to identify which segments of your upcoming projects and initiatives can clearly be okay with a non-traditional workforce. Project scopes and deliverables should be clear, as should a clear chain of command within the company identifying how short-term staff members will be put to work. After having arrived at these conclusions, one needs to hire at least 3 alternative staffing companies and give them an overview of the deliverables you are expecting from the staff they will be providing. A bid process can make staff selection by purely fiscal terms possible. However, one should also consider the training you need to give to the staff members. Furthermore, consider the competence of the staffing company at meeting deliverables.

References will be invaluable here – contact other companies that have utilized the staffing service you want. Then, determine how well they met or exceeded expectations. Did other clients feel that they got a good value out of the contracts? Did they perhaps feel, in hindsight, that better results would have been possible via traditional methods of staffing? A little research at the front end can avoid weeks of potential frustration. And forget about cost overruns weeks or months into the future.

training process for a job

5 Ways in Which Alternative Staffing Can Help Your Business

1. Reduction of Overhead

Human resource costs are expensive and make up a major portion of the overhead a company occurs over any given fiscal period. The ability to bring in short-term employees on a non-permanent basis will have a major positive impact on the bottom line.

2. More Agile Response to Needs

Hiring across departments to bring staff to minimum levels is challenging enough. Alternative staffing gives you a graceful way to bring additional resources into a department to meet shortfalls or to see a project through to completion. Then you can quickly and painlessly reduce the size of the department back to the levels required for standard daily operations.

3. Streamlining of Tax Processes

At tax time, your HR department will spend many hours preparing and filing taxes associated with standard full-time employees. The contract basis of alternative staffing removes that responsibility from your HR department, reducing stress and overhead.

4. Flexibility in Scheduling

Standard full-time employees expect standard full-time schedules. Contract employees brought in via alternative staffing can be utilized on non-traditional schedules such as evenings or weekends, during lull periods of your company’s normal operating hours.

5. Ability to Adapt to a Changing Marketplace

The marketplace can change on a dime, with new opportunities and innovations appearing at a moment’s notice. Bringing normal staffing levels up to these needs wastes precious time that could equal impacting the marketplace. Alternative staffing allows you to draw from a pool of personnel already trained and competent at your desired skills, allowing you to pursue opportunities immediately, rather than after a length “ramping up” period.

The cutting edge of human resources is now in the non-traditional methods of alternative staffing. Whether you are looking for additional help immediately, or are simply looking for a way to rein in ever-increasing personnel costs, alternative staffing gives you the tools you need to move your enterprise forward without exploding your personnel budget. Take some time to investigate, and you are sure to jump at the opportunities available through this non-traditional method of staffing.

Have thoughts, questions, or comments on alternative staffing? Drop us a line or leave a comment below.

Images taken from depositphotos.com.