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How can hiring contract staff meet your fluctuating demands?

Hiring seasonal temporary employees
Submitted by Sayoojya on

Businesses across various industries often face fluctuating demands throughout the year. These peaks can be due to product launches, increased customer activity, or other industry-specific factors. To manage these surges efficiently, hiring contract staff has become a strategic solution. It can be hard to hire someone with a quick turnaround. - the solution? Hiring contract staff to meet your demands.

Finding the right individuals for your organisation, whether for contract or permanent positions, is crucial. Hiring the wrong employee can lead to reduced productivity, lower team morale, wasted time and resources on training or retraining, and even harm your organisation's reputation. Therefore, it's essential to make the right hiring decisions from the start!

Speak to us about hiring the right contract employee.

Contract staff can also be instrumental in maintaining business continuity during peak times. They can handle routine tasks, freeing permanent employees to concentrate on more critical operations. This division of labour ensures that your business continues to run smoothly, even during periods of heightened activity. Helping them settle into the organisation will also enable and motivate them to be as productive as possible, even if they are only set to be in the business for a short time.

Some real-world examples

Consider a logistics company that experiences a surge in shipping volumes during major sales events. The company can meet delivery timelines and maintain service quality by hiring warehouse staff and drivers on a contract basis. Similarly, an accounting firm might need extra hands during tax season. Bringing in accountants on a contract basis allows the firm to handle the increased workload efficiently without overburdening its permanent staff.

Let’s look at several benefits of hiring contract staff to meet the following demands.

1. Flexibility

Companies must be able to meet the demand for additional staff during busy periods, which can often be time-consuming and difficult. Whether a retail store is preparing for a major sale event, a tech company is launching a new product, or a financial institution is closing the fiscal year, having a flexible workforce allows you to handle the increased workload without the long-term commitment.

Contract staff remove some of this hardship, as they are readily available and are a quick fix when sudden changes in turnover, various projects, and seasonal demands crop up. A business's ability to be agile and flexible when it comes to meeting its hiring needs is a desirable one.

Contract workers can be relied upon when you need to increase the volume of staff for a certain amount of time. And then, likewise, when your business enters a less busy or quieter period, it is easy to adjust and rearrange your staffing requirements to suit.

2. New skills

Previously, the stereotype of a contract employee was someone who worked in a lower-level admin role. However, the dynamic of the workforce has changed dramatically, and many 'career contractors' build successful careers by gaining experience from contract assignments.

This is the new and modern version of the classic contract hire, as they bring many new skills and a fresh perspective to a business. For example, you might need experts in a specific technology or process during a critical project phase. Hiring contract staff with these skills can bridge the gap and ensure your project is completed successfully.

It also suits many employers' needs and individuals' lifestyles, which can, in turn, improve business efficiency and streamline certain aspects of the business that need tweaking. If a new project or business requires a new set of skills outside the company's usual area of expertise, a contract employee can bring what is needed.

3. Affordability and ease of hiring contractors

Contractors and their rates vary from company to company and agency to agency; however, hiring a contractor is often much more cost-effective and efficient than hiring a permanent employee.

Sometimes they charge hourly rates rather than a set salary, and they occasionally have reduced access to benefits and other employee perks because they are there for such a short time.

It is the perfect short-term solution. We would also look after all queries regarding payroll, tax, PRSI, etc., so there would be no need to worry about these becoming an issue.

Learn more about contract recruitment.

4. Source of new hires

Finding employees who are the right fit for your business can be costly and time-consuming. However, if you hire a contract employee, you get the chance to assess employees over a longer period of time without having to make a permanent offer.

This also means there is no panic when trying to fill a permanent vacancy, as having a contract employee on board to fill the role can save you time in the recruitment process and ensure you have time to locate the right professional for the role.

5. Boosts team spirit

In general, there is a stereotype of a significant divide between permanent and contract staff. Still, the addition of contract staff can help boost the atmosphere in a workplace.

This is mainly because when employees are overworked, or, more importantly, a business is understaffed, this can result in a tense and difficult working environment. Hence, employees get stressed and overwhelmed and eventually burn out or look elsewhere.

Bringing contract staff to share the workload can alleviate pressure on your permanent employees, fostering a healthier and more productive work environment. This support helps maintain high levels of employee satisfaction and retention.

6. Preparation is key

At Morgan McKinley, we have large pools of contractors readily available to start work. Not only that, but they’re also pre-screened and pre-approved. This saves you time in the long run and avoids unnecessarily complicated recruitment processes.

7. Reduced Risk and Increased Focus

Hiring contract staff reduces the risk associated with long-term employment commitments. If demand decreases, you can easily scale down your workforce without the complexities of layoffs or redundancy processes. This flexibility lets your permanent staff focus on core business activities and strategic initiatives, improving overall efficiency and productivity.

Steps to get ready for your contract employee's arrival

To ensure a smooth transition and maximise the benefits of contract staff, preparing adequately for their arrival is essential. We recommend considering the following to facilitate a smooth onboarding process:

  • Prepare in advance: Before the contract employee's start date, ensure you have everything ready for their arrival. This includes providing them with the necessary paperwork, access to relevant systems or equipment, and any training materials they need.
  • Create a welcome packet: Develop a welcome pack or orientation document that overviews the company, its mission, values, and key policies. Include information on the team structure, important contacts, and specific guidelines or procedures relevant to their role.
  • Set up IT access: Grant contract employee access to the required IT systems, networks, and software applications. Create their email accounts, provide login credentials, and ensure they have permission to access relevant files and databases. Coordinate with your IT department to address any technical needs in advance.
  • Assign a buddy or mentor: Pair the contract employee with an experienced team member who can act as a mentor or buddy. This person can help answer questions, provide guidance, and offer insights into the team dynamics and organisational culture.
  • Provide clear expectations: Communicate the contract employee's responsibilities and expected deliverables. Discuss project timelines, key objectives, and any specific targets they must accomplish during their assignment. This will help them understand their role and focus their efforts.
  • Offer initial training: Provide focused training on essential skills or tools that the contract employee will need to perform their duties effectively. This could include software systems, specific processes, or industry-specific knowledge. Tailor the training to their needs and ensure they have the resources and support to succeed.
  • Establish open communication: Create an environment where the contract employee feels comfortable asking questions and seeking clarification. Encourage open communication channels and let them know who to contact for assistance or guidance. Regularly check in with them to provide feedback and address any concerns.
  • Encourage collaboration: Foster collaboration between the contract employee and the rest of the team. Encourage introductions, actively involve them in team meetings, and assign tasks that require working closely with others. This will help them build relationships, feel more engaged, and quickly acclimate to team dynamics.
  • Provide ongoing support: Offer ongoing support and check-ins throughout the contract employee's assignment. Be available to address any questions or challenges they may encounter and provide constructive feedback to help them improve their performance.

Remember that every contract employee may have different backgrounds and skill sets, so it's important to be flexible and tailor the onboarding process to their needs.

By following these steps, you can help contract employees quickly become proficient while ensuring they feel supported and valued within your organisation.