Three core questions underly the direction a company takes, at any given point, when it comes to staffing. But a lot of companies delay or avoid the questions when the market looks questionable, because no one else is doing anything about it either. Thing is, those companies looking around to see who’s going to stick their neck out, won’t have much neck left to stretch during recovery or hold their heads up during another crisis. In short, we can’t afford to just be in the same boat as everyone else. We have to ask the old, classic questions, but ask them in a new way, with new technologies and possibilities.
Where are you understaffed? We’re not talking about a very temporary need, like for someone to clean out your file cabinets over a 10-day period. What about those areas where you’re either always hurting a little, but it’s too complicated to train a temp, or you’re needing medium-term project work, and you can’t find qualified people? If you can forego committing to regular employee hiring, but avoid the hassles of a 1099 contract and the unreliability and expense of a staffing agency, you’ll get your work done, stop feeling underpowered as a company, and yet not be overleveraged and overcommitted on something volatile and unreliable. Free agency can fit perfectly in between short-term temps and long-term employees.
- Where are you overcommitted? If you’re contemplating laying people off, it’s an unpleasant prospect for any company. But you still need to get the work done – it’s just that you can’t commit to regular, full-time employment of a large staff. So why not set a *part* of the employee free, by offering to convert or hire them back as a free agent? That allows them to shop their skills to companies that can fill in the rest of their work needs (some might even enjoy the extra time for a while), but you’re not having to completely yank the rug from under anyone, and you still get their expertise on hand in a way that can grow as you grown, flex as your company needs flex.
- What are your neglected goals? Companies don’t grow by just holding the line – they do so by innovating, getting better, getting more efficient, and starting new projects. But how can you start new projects in a slump or when the market seems shaky? You can’t commit to hiring a lot of new people – you may have laid some off. You can’t get sensitive project work done with ordinary temps. So could you get high grade professionals in there, who act like internal contractors – not temps or 1099 contractors, and yet don’t expect the ‘marriage’ of you providing their benefits and keeping them off unemployment? Free agency as an option can split the horns of that dilemma and allow you to keep pushing new projects to make you profitable when others can’t venture a thing.
Free Agency should be the subject of your next HR meeting. If you would like a free telephone consultation, or would like to hire a presenter to come and explain the core concepts to executives, hiring managers, project managers, and HR professionals, contact Free Agent Source. Again, you can’t afford to be in the same boat as everyone else.