Undertaking a new project comes with significant planning demands — among them, staffing to meet expectations. More than throwing team hours at the job, project managers and stakeholders must ensure they’re fulfilling the demands of the project with people who are qualified and capable. More often than not, it becomes a question of hiring.
Project-based staffing is a viable solution in these situations. New projects — especially those with definitive end dates or well-defined parameters — become an opportunity to plug-and-play candidates on a project-based, temporary basis. To ensure the best results, it’s important to take a thoughtful approach to acquiring temporary talent.
Project-based staffing as a solution
Project management is subject to ebbs and flows, and as project volume ramps up or down, employee headcount becomes the biggest cost consideration. Too often, companies find themselves overstaffed for the current capacity of work — or understaffed and feeling the pressure. In either case, cost inefficiency becomes a problem.
Project-based staffing is a great solution to manage the ebbs and flows of projects and provide teams with the right level of support. This method of hiring on a per-project basis allows the business to hire the right talent for its current demands. This keeps the business efficient, the project within budget, and allows the company to scale up or down on a per-project basis.
“Over the past 18 months, we have seen a massive increase in the number of clients asking for project consultants to come in for a set period of time, and assist with a project until completion. This spans across most verticals, including Total Rewards, Human Resources and Talent Acquisition, IT, Data/Systems Migration, and Accounting/Finance. It’s a win-win for the client because they don’t need to hire someone full time to complete the work, but they still get the work done by an expert within that specific project field,” noted Ashley Goldberg, President of Search Solution Group’s Staffing Division.
There’s also an aspect of flexibility for individuals within the talent pool. Depending on the specific skills required for a project, companies can bring contractors into the fold quickly and temporarily instead of hiring for roles they may not need for the long term.
Benefits of project-based staffing
The benefits of project-based staffing aren’t confined only to project-oriented organizations. Many companies are turning toward contracted talent on an as-needed basis as a way to support agile frameworks. Here are some of the reasons an organization might tap a flexible workforce over onboarding a new hire:
- Scale within parameters. Scalability is a major component of project-based staffing. It also is conducive to companies in growth or restructuring phases, when talent is key to success but often too expensive to accommodate. Contracting offers a stopgap solution and may create opportunities for a future hire.
- Access to specific, niche skill sets. Companies often find themselves in situations where a certain skill is needed only for the duration of a project. Contracting for this skill allows businesses to meet demands, while keeping the budget on time and within budget.
- Lower ongoing overhead. Payroll is often the largest single cost on a company’s balance sheet. Factor in total rewards benefits such as 401K, dental, health insurance, reimbursements, and more, and the cost of human capital can be astronomical. For companies tight on cash, contracting boils the cost down to a single agreed-upon hourly rate.
- Plug-and-play staffing. Projects often demand input from multiple departments, and it’s simply not possible to hire additional support for each segment of the business for the duration of a project. Contracting enables a comprehensive level of support that lasts as long as the project demands.
- On-demand candidate pool. Project-based staffing doesn’t limit talent to projects. Companies may contract a skilled worker for a specific purpose and then quickly find other applications for their abilities across the organization. Not only are contractors on demand, but so are their skills. It’s a plug-and-play answer to dynamic company demands.
It’s important to note the limited liability for the company that accompanies project-based staffing. In the event a contractor doesn’t meet expectations, it’s simple to part ways and find a suitable replacement. To access a talented, on-demand workforce, companies must have standards and practices in place to identify and vet talent outside the organization. This is easier said than done (and done effectively). Often, the simplest solution is to partner with a talent placement firm that can quickly identify qualified candidates seeking to work on a project basis. With a staffing agency facilitating, companies are free to focus on getting temporary staff up to speed.
Flexibility for all involved
Projects, by definition, eventually end. When that time comes, companies can’t afford to carry labor overhead until the next project begins.
Instead, it’s prudent to encapsulate projects — including their labor demands. By tapping into project-based staffing and compensation strategies, companies gain the flexibility they need throughout the duration of a project and beyond, while improving the caliber of work delivered through more specific and transparent staffing practices. It’s a win-win for both project managers and the talent they staff.
Explore the benefits of project-based staffing at searchsolutiongroup.com/flexible-staffing-temporary-contract-services/ .