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Turbulent times need agile, cost-effective staffing solutions

Whether the times we are navigating are VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) or TUNA (turbulent, uncertain, novel, ambiguous) we all agree that organisations require increased plasticity in an unpredictable and fluctuating business environment.
Turbulent times need agile, cost-effective staffing solutions

As the unknown feels greater than the known, our risk appetite diminishes. This diminished risk appetite includes our desire for employing skills and staff. So how exactly can you achieve lowered staffing risk and increased agility in a highly regulated, high-risk economy?

Within the South African context, there are three types of contractual agreements when hiring staff, namely:

Permanent employment: the employee is on your payroll for an indefinite period.

Fixed-term contracts: the employee is on your payroll or that of a temporary employment agency for a fixed period or a fixed outcome, often associated with maternity leave or a specific project.

Independent contracting and freelancing, also known as consultants: These contractors are skilled and are not on your payroll, nor do they benefit from company contributions such as UIF, annual leave, pension fund, amongst others.

Within each of these, there are opportunities to reduce cost, risk and increase staffing agility and organisational plasticity.

Permanent staff agility

Hire part-time skills

If cost and uncertainty are an issue, and the skill is required permanently, investigate hiring employees with part-time hours as a solution. Hiring a skilled employee that wants to work part-time is a win-win for both parties. It is a fact that hour-for-hour part-time workers are more productive than full-time employees, meaning you could obtain the same result by hiring a skilled part-timer than employing someone full-time.

At RecruitMyMom, we have placed thousands of women seeking meaningful part-time jobs. The fact that a job is a permanent contract is highly attractive to candidates in these times, and as an employer you do not have to compromise on the quality of the candidate hired.

Hire work-from-home skills

A second way of hiring permanent staff more cost-effectively is to hire them to work remotely, and not from the office. Working from home is sought out by many skilled candidates, even more so post Covid-19. Studies show that remote working increases productivity, reduces absenteeism and quit rates while lowering costs for the company by saving on office rent and office equipment. These roles can be part-time or full-time, and the savings are significant.

There are very few skills that cannot work from home, from mid-level to senior executives across all sectors, they are all available to hire.

Hire graduates and interns

The third cost-effective way to hire skills is to hire graduates. Graduates are technology superstars who are quick to learn and bring fresh new thinking into any business. They do require guidance and formal training on the ways of work, but are a resource pool of high calibre raw talent if you are willing to assist them to grow.

Fixed-term contracts and staffing agility

Fixed-term contracts are useful when needing skills for a particular period or the duration of a project. The expectation of the employee is that of a fixed period. Should the landscape change and more work becomes available, one can then hire the employee permanently, having had the benefit of working with the person. Fixed-term contracts cannot be continuously rolled without a justifiable reason and are legislated by the LRA.

Independent contracting, freelancing and consultants for maximum agility

Hiring an independent consultant gives employers maximum agility, reduced complexity in staffing and cost control. The consultant does not require a notice period if the work dries up, and the budget is tightly controlled by pre-agreed hours and rates. The array of skills available as independent contractors is vast, including HR, finance, administration, digital marketing, analysts and many more.

RecruitMyMom has seen a marked increase in the demand for independent contractors as companies have needed to manage risk while still delivering on the work required using high calibre, vetted skilled contractors.

Contractors, short-term fixed contracts and outsourcing all allow companies with high periods of labour demand to quickly meet the demand without having a long-term commitment in place. Having a pool of trained contractors that are available in times of need gives you ultimate agility and flexibility in staffing, ensuring excellent customer service at all times.

Be encouraged that in times of ambiguity and turbulence, achieving staffing agility while managing costs and growing your resource of uncompromised skill is possible. What is required is out-of-the-box thinking and the ability to embrace flexibility in the way you employ and the way people work. Ask for assistance from experts in the flexible working space, a solution that works for your company does exist.

Turbulent times need agile, cost-effective staffing solutions
About the author:

Phillipa Geard is the founder and CEO of multi-business award-winning online recruitment company and recently launched RecruitMyMom was launched in 2012 in response to a need to assist highly-skilled women to remain in the workplace and continue with their careers by offering them skilled flexible, remote and part-time jobs. Her professional and entirely virtual workforce assist thousands of companies to find top calibre female and graduate talent. Geard is passionate about making a positive difference in the lives of women and youth by innovative recruiting solutions.

17 Aug 2020 13:55