Rising labor costs, especially those associated with workers’ compensation insurance, health benefits and unemployment taxes, have led to an increase in flexible staffing arrangements.

But what are the components of a “flexible staffing arrangement?   The term does not have a set standardized meaning; it is an umbrella term that describes many different types of employment scenarios, including:

  • Agency Temporaries – workers that are provided by a staffing firm to a specific company for a limited period of time on a fill-in basis or for a finite project.  The work is usually directed by the client.  The main differentiator of a temporary worker is the short-term nature of his/her position (usually less than one year).
  • Leased Employees – a company leases all/portion of its workforce on a fairly permanent basis from a leasing company, staffing company or a PEO (Professional Employment Organization).  The workers are typically directed by the client, but are on the payroll of the leasing/staffing companies/PEO.  Temporary help agencies sometimes also lease workers.
  • Contract company workers – these workers are employed by a company that contracts out their services to a client company. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), contract company workers also perform their work at the client’s worksite and usually work for just one client at a time.  However, their work is typically supervised by the contract company, not the client.

The distinction between agency temporary, leased employee, and contract company worker is often blurred, and no official definitions exist.  In most polls, workers are asked to self-identify, with the meanings left open to interpretation.  This, therefore, muddies the results.

Some of the other types of flexible employment scenarios include:

  • Independent Contractors – Legally, these workers are self-employed, and they may or may not perform their services at the client’s worksite. The only statistics on the number of independent contractors comes from the Current Population Survey.  In this survey, workers who stated that they worked as independent contractors, independent consultants, or freelance workers were classified as “independent contractors.”
  • Direct Hire temporaries– These workers are employees of the companies where they work.  They are hired for a limited period of time (usually for seasonal work or for a special project).
  • On- call workers – These workers are also employees of the companies where they work; they are hired for an indefinite duration, but they do not have regularly scheduled hours. They are called in to work on an as-needed basis, often to fill in for an absent employee or to help with an increased workload. Substitute teachers and many hospital employees are on-call workers.

All staffing firms work to recruit and provide quality “flexible staffing” workers for their clients. However, the key differentiator between a great staffing firm and an “OK” staffing firm, is its candidate network and the process used to partner with clients.

Snelling has been an innovator in the flexible staffing model for the last 60 years. Our offices are managed and owned by community leaders that understand local industries and job markets. In addition, Snelling’s corporate offices can provide you with the thought leadership, infrastructure and resources needed to grow your business. Reliance on a reputable and capable staffing company can be an important management tool for your business. Snelling can be that management tool for you. Our staffing experts can show you how to lower expenses, increase flexibility, and keep your business humming. Visit your local Snelling office or visit us at https://www.snelling.com.

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