A protracted economic crisis and worries over a possible double-dip recession are forever changing the ways American companies staff their businesses.  Huge layoffs, persistently high unemployment and lowered profits have forced business leaders to re-think the ways the hire, fire and manage human capital.

Whether you believe we’re simply in a stalled recovery, or are headed for yet another economic downturn, you must prepare your company to operate in the “new normal.”  Here are a few sound staffing strategies to help your organization compete in these uncertain times:

Let go of the old ways. The days of hiring exclusively full-time, salaried employees are gone.  Instead, you must embrace a business model where contingent resources (temporary employees, contract professionals, freelancers, etc.) are a fundamental part of your workforce.

If you haven’t started the process already, it’s time to re-think the ways your company gets work done.  Work with a staffing consultant to:

  • Identify the most essential positions in your organization, and evaluate options for outsourcing, or using temporary help for, non-core activities.  Maintaining a smaller direct staff keeps overhead at a minimum, while giving you the flexibility to quickly ramp-up operations when businesses picks up.
  • Replace low-performing employees with high-performers.  In a business environment where every employee is critical, a staffing service can help you identify and hire top performers to replace under-performing staff members.
  • Facilitate cross-training.  The “new normal” demands an agile, cross-trained workforce.  A staffing service can facilitate your need to cross-train direct staff by either supplying support personnel (to pick up the slack while employees undergo training), or providing access to highly trained specialists who can conduct necessary training.

Critically examine your hiring and staffing functions. Assess the efficiency, scalability and value of your current hiring/staffing functions.  Look for ways to cut costs and streamline your processes.  Re-examine your current provider relationships.  Seek a staffing partner like Snelling who understands your business and can help you to proactively position yourself for the “new normal.”

Look for new ways to use contingent staff more intelligently. Temporary, temp-to-hire and contract staff are indispensable in a transitional economy.  As you adopt new models for getting work done in your organization, consider using contingent staff in the following ways:

  • Test new ideas. Before you commit to hiring direct staff for a new concept or initiative, test the idea using temporary employees.  You can either bring in highly specialized temporaries to assume a direct role in testing, or have them fill in for your staff members involved with testing the new idea.
  • Try before you buy. Temp-to-hire services can mitigate hiring decision risks.  If your need for staff increases, you can try out temporary employees on the job, to see how they perform and fit into your corporate culture – before extending offers for direct employment.
  • Access the knowledge you need. If you need specialized expertise on a short-term basis, staffing firms provide access to contract technical and professional staff.  These experts can be used to assist with anything from developing new products and services to integrating new technologies.

Get Ready for the “New Normal” with Snelling Staffing Services

No matter what staffing challenges your business is currently facing, Snelling is prepared to help you overcome them.  I invite you to contact your local Snelling office today, to arrange for a complimentary workforce consultation.  Together, we can analyze your strengths, challenges and goals – and design a proactive staffing plan to help your organization thrive in the “new normal.”

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