The wild fluctuations of the U.S. job market in the past few years have left many companies grasping for straws in the hiring department. Striving to meet business needs while avoiding exposure to too much risk in the event demand suddenly goes silent has been a constant push and pull for organizations across industry. And although no single solution can address every uncertainty, there are strategies that help companies build a more nimble, resilient workforce, particularly be using Gen Z contractors.
Contractors Provide Flexibility to Accounting Firms
It wouldn’t be hyperbole to describe the situation facing the accounting field right now as a labor crisis. According to Bloomberg Tax, the number of accounting graduates in 2018 dropped nearly 7 percent from a 2012 peak, while the number of employed accountants and auditors in 2021 plummeted 17 percent from its 2019 peak. A number of factors have contributed to the losses, including the current trend of U.S. public accounting firms hiring fewer CPAs and more technology-based graduates.
The point is that the sector is facing a labor shortage, forcing many accounting firms to rethink hiring best practices and the fundamental makeup of their workforce. But accounting wasn’t alone in losing a significant chunk of its numbers to the Great Resignation, many more organizations outside the field have been confronted with the same issue.
Contractors can help. By employing more contingent labor, companies can reduce operational expenses and still match seasonal cycles and necessary project work with appropriate staffing levels. Contractors are an agile expense – 100 percent variable cost – that allows a business to avoid over-committing to full-time staff, in case the economic winds change yet again. PeopleCaddie plugs you into a network of qualified, vetted professional contractors, making hiring quick and easy, and helping you capture more revenue. We even handle payroll and benefits (including assuming the cost of insurance), relieving you of the tasks and making work at your company more attractive to the best contract workers.
Where Gen Z Contractors Fit In
We’ve established that the best way to create greater leeway in your workforce is by leaning into contingent labor. But why is Gen Z significant here? Several reasons, actually. Members of Gen Z in the workforce tend to be:
- Less expensive
- More pliable
- Savvier around tech (remember the trend in accounting hiring?)
Perhaps most importantly, Gen Z contractors can help a company keep costs down for necessary entry-level work while helping to build tomorrow’s experienced workforce – including its future supervisors, managers and C-suite leaders. Rather than separating contractors from the rest of the labor force, an organization would benefit from treating them no differently than W-2 employees.
Let’s return to the accounting space: Whether it’s a public accounting firm, an auditing group or a bank, an organization that employs contractors can benefit from affordable labor in the present while offering professional development opportunities to those workers in anticipation of the future. With a path to promotion or full-time employment (for those who prefer it), contractors will have the incentive to stay with a company and work toward higher skill levels – and the company will have a pipeline to emerging talent with proprietary training.
The future of work is flexible. PeopleCaddie helps companies leverage our vast contingent labor network to optimize their business growth, while also helping contractors map out sure footing and step lively on their upward professional path – no matter their preferred destination.
If you want to know more about designing your contingent labor strategy like top accounting firms, download our latest ebook.