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Contingent Workers: A Complete Guide for Recruiters

contingent worker Jan 23, 2023

Are you short of skilled employees for challenging projects and can't afford to hire proficient people long-term? Probably, you haven't heard of contingent workers.

Contingent workers can solve your concern as you can have on-demand labor exactly when your organization needs it. Additionally, this workforce is full of industry experts, so you can rest assured about the quality of the outputs.

Increasingly, organizations are becoming familiar with contingent work and its benefits. In fact, Deloitte states large companies spend 30% of their procurement costs on contingent workers. Therefore, your business must also give them a try.

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This article will help you learn about contingent workers, how to hire them, and what benefits they can bring to your company.

So, let’s go by the first point:

What is a Contingent Worker?

Contrary to a company's permanent employees, contingent workers (also referred to as gig workers) are hired for a fixed time to work on specific projects.

Before hiring them, the employer defines the start and end date of the contract and pays them on a project basis rather than through company payroll.

Gig workers are given the freedom of choosing the place and time for work instead of sticking to a standard work schedule. Businesses hire this type of employee because they can easily get extra help on critical projects.

And they don’t even have to perform the unpleasant layoffs. Freelancers, contractors, consultants, on-call workers, and people working in similar work arrangements fall into the contingent workforce category.

Steps to Hire Contingent Workers

As the gig workforce’s employment type differs from traditional employees, their hiring process and standards also vary.

Here steps mentioned will help you set an organized process to employ contingent workers:

Post a Comprehensive Ad

Firstly, identify your hiring needs so that you can write the ad accordingly. Mention all the requirements in the role description, so potential candidates can know what you need in an ideal worker.

Also, provide the audience with company exposure to help them decide to apply.

Once the description is ready, publish it on different platforms, and don’t forget to determine and target your audience. Use terms like freelancers, contractors, and consultants in the title and description.

Review each Applicant’s Work History

Once you have the applications, it’s time to review each candidate’s portfolio and client testimonials, so you can make a better choice. Obviously, the candidates would have only applied for the role when they could meet the specific criteria of the position.

However, not every applicant’s working style and personal objectives will suit you, so reviewing their previous experience and work is essential.

Look for their specialization and niche-specific skills and what they have learned throughout their past journey. See if they have ever done group projects and reach out to their previous employers or clients to verify their claims.

Assess the Candidates

After verifying the applicants’ work from their previous clients, a skills assessment and an interview will help you further narrow down the selection criteria. You can evaluate the candidates’ knowledge of different job-related concepts through skill tests.

All the candidates that pass the test should be moved to the interview stage. Ask them about their experiences in previous work and what they learned in it. Also, tell them to explain their research process for every project, so you can know if their thought process matches yours.

Though it is unusual, you should perform background checks on contingent workers. It will get you the most genuine person with whom you can collaborate in the future also.

Set Clear Expectations

Now, you would have selected a candidate for the work. So, you must clear the job role and company needs with the person.

Though you already mentioned the project requirements in the description, discussing them with the selected candidate is advisable. You must clear the nature of work, conditions, and other needs with them.

Also, you should mention these in the offer letter to avoid future misunderstandings and problems. It helps to keep the workflow hassle-free.

Start with giving a detailed view of the project to the finalized applicant. Tell him your ultimate goals and future visions so that he can contribute in the best way. Also, talk about the project’s budget and payment frequency.

Also, map out the work and set deadlines for different tasks to achieve the goals in a determined time.

Why Hire Contingent Workers?

Now that you have an effective plan to hire a contingent workforce, you might want to know what benefits they can bring to your business. So let’s talk about how gig workers contribute to your organizational growth.

The biggest and most obvious advantage is financial. The hired persons aren’t the organization's permanent employees, so you will not have to provide them with vacation pay, overtime, etc. And you don’t even have to worry about the increment or appraisal cycles, as the workers will work for the predetermined amount.

More than the financial aspects, a contingent workforce can enable many other advantages also. Let’s take a look:

1. Fills the Skill Gaps Quickly

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As the business economy and technology are constantly evolving, it has become a necessity for companies to increase their hiring.

It prevents skill gaps within the workforce. However, it is not easy as it seems.

You might also notice skills gaps in your company now or in the near future, so filling them is crucial. But compromising the business productivity until someone is hired is also not advisable.

In this scenario, contingent workers come to your rescue. They possess the required skills and can be hired quickly. And you don’t even have to think about them for the long term, so you can easily thrive and handle skill gaps.

2. Access to a Vast and Skilled Talent pool

According to SlideShare, the average yearly procurement costs of a contingent workforce ranges from 1 billion to 5 billion. This is because business owners can now find skilled candidates easily, and they can save time spent on training them.

By enabling the gig work in your business, you are logging into a broad network of talented people. You can easily fulfill your organization’s different hiring needs and build a diverse workforce. It will enrich your company with new perspectives and innovation.

3. Enables Great Flexibility

In the constantly changing market practices, your business needs to be agile and fluid to keep up with the competition. And contingent workers will help you with that. They will assist you in fighting future uncertainties and market volatility by developing company values, work culture, and technology.

You can easily increase or decrease the number of contingent workers as per the requirements. This can benefit your organization during seasonal peaks. Moreover, gig workers can leave an impact on your permanent employees and evolve their skills, too.

Best Platforms to Find Contingent Workers

As of now, you have understood the benefits of hiring a contingent workforce and also have the plan to hire them.

However, every great plan requires efficient tools for execution. Similarly, you will need platforms to find the right gig workers for your business. Don’t worry! We have sorted out your concern.

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Here is the market share of the best platforms from which you can find skilled workers. Let’s talk about them in detail:

1. Upwork

Upwork comes first when talking about freelancing sites. According to Millo, there are an estimated 18 million freelancers on Upwork. So you can have a large pool of candidates for your needs.

Moreover, its talent badges will help you evaluate the workers by showing that they have past work experience in relevant fields, and they have expertise.

2. Toptal

Toptal is suitable for large organizations that are ready to provide a hefty amount of money to gig workers. They require the candidates to go through their rigorous exam for registration. It includes live screening, professional review, and language & 16 personality tests. So, you can hire highly skilled workers through Toptal.

3. Fiverr

Fiverr is the best option for recruiters looking for budget-friendly gigs. It is the fastest-growing freelancing platform, as you will find numerous types of business services in low to high-pay ranges.

In addition, its commission rates are also low compared to freelance sites. So, you can prefer Fiverr when running low on budget.

4. Freelancer

Freelancer - the name makes things obvious. This one is also a business-oriented platform like Toptal. It provides tier-1 freelancers to companies and facilitates the time tracking and work hours' data into the app.

So, you don’t have to worry about the project accomplishment or spending any extra penny on time tracking tools.

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Final Notes

In the current talent market, it’s safe to say that contingent workers aren’t going anywhere. Organizations will continue to hire freelancers, contractors, and on-call workers for their diverse needs.

And you also must consider them to keep the business up-to-date with the latest market trends.

The global contingent workforce is growing and evolving with time. So, you will need to prepare effective plans to manage freelancers and get the most out of them. You must start building your network and contacting industry experts from now on.


Zoi Kotsou

Copywriter - Content writer - Content Strategist

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