General

Increase Your Pay Through Ratings

No matter our chosen profession or political affiliation, most of us look for one thing above all from any employment relationship: ways to increase your pay. Some combination of benefits, a pension and additional perks may also be important to the average worker, but even those elements fall somewhere under the umbrella of compensation.

Put simply: We just want to be paid what we’re worth.

Seems fair enough. But democratizing that process is another story. Factors such as a lack of pay transparency, insular networks, discrimination and even just bad luck can keep talented, productive and experienced workers from climbing to rungs on the pay-scale ladder that are commensurate with the value they deliver.

In the meantime, PeopleCaddie is helping to level the playing field. Our digital talent platform allows professional contractors to set their rates, previous employers to post ratings of those contractors, and prospective employers to decide whether those figures jive. The idea: Good work leads to good ratings, which ultimately leads to higher compensation from future employers.

The traditional hiring process is clunky. Contacting references that are cherry-picked by the candidate takes time and bears questionable fruit. Verifying the professional relationship between the candidate and the reference can be tricky, and the objectivity of the assessment depends heavily upon the specific relationship between the reference and candidate. LinkedIn, for instance, offers the ability to request reviews from fellow members, but that function operates independent of the professional work history or nature of the relationship between two members.

At PeopleCaddie, employers searching through our database of candidates can be assured they are always seeing ratings from that candidate’s direct supervisor at a given position. This brings a level of standardization to reviews, allowing employers to compare apples to apples during the hiring process and ensuring contractors that they are being assessed based on criteria that is consistent from candidate to candidate.

For decades, scale-tippers such as the old boys’ network, the Ivy League pipeline and run-of-the-mill nepotism would often unfairly reward or penalize candidates. Even if a deserving prospect were hired on, they might be compensated at a lower rate or receive fewer career-advancement opportunities based on any number of subjective factors. With PeopleCaddie, contractors are better able to understand their worth in the market and can set their rates accordingly. At the same time, employers can pinpoint candidates based on ratings (as well as experience, skill set, etc.) and move forward with the confidence that a contractor will deliver on expected value.

Annual in-house reviews typically have been a thing for workers to dread. Supervisors could make arbitrary assessments to justify denying a pay raise or promotion, and salary bumps are often highly controlled and barely keep up with the cost of living. But a ratings system like PeopleCaddie’s offers full transparency, solicits reviews after a contractor has moved on from an employer, and establishes a rewards system in which a freelancer is more likely to be noticed while creating demand for their services.

Increase your ratings, increase your pay. That’s all any of us workers could ask for.

Looking for ways to increase your pay? Join PeopleCaddie’s talent cloud, set up a profile and allow employers to consider you. Here’s how it works.

sgruenIncrease Your Pay Through Ratings

Professional Staffing: The Possibilities Talent Clouds Offer

Professional staffing has always been a chore. The need to fill a professional staff role, no matter the position, triggers an exhaustive, often dreaded process: culling through stacks of resumes, identifying quality applicants, vetting the best candidates, scheduling and conducting interviews, and eventually making tough decisions that, after it’s all said and done, don’t always work out.

It’s a necessary burden: most companies need the muscle and institutional knowledge that comes with a full-time workforce. Still, many employers have the ability – and some might call it the luxury – of supplementing that staff with contract workers who offer, among other things, faster onboarding times and maximum flexibility. In fact, with the right partner – a proven third-party talent cloud – bringing aboard freelance talent can be one of the easiest aspects of a hiring manager’s job.

With a talent cloud, not only can the time and efforts of a human resources department be better focused on other duties, but the results of contingent-labor hiring and professional staffing are often more impressive. That’s because a talent cloud, like PeopleCaddie, focuses solely on contract workers, building networks of quality freelancers and sought-after employers, and, through intelligent technology, matching them in professional relationships that create the best fits for each.

Think of a talent cloud as a vending machine for professional staffing. It’s simple to use, and by building a vibrant and engaged online community, talent clouds build strong relationships with contractors. These relationships, ratings from previous employers, and the increasing scale of the online community offer a clear view of the best available freelancers and deliver a near-instant payoff. That speed is crucial. Companies are always chasing business, seeking the next opportunity, and they can’t afford to worry about whether their full-time staff is perfectly calibrated to take on new work. Having the flexibility to ramp up staff and quickly identify and hire skilled talent to fill specialized roles allows a business to meet whatever workforce needs that may arise based on new projects.

By alleviating the pressure point of modulating bandwidth, a talent cloud enables a company to not only scale up but also streamline at the close of seasonal work or after big projects wrap. One of the reasons employers have balked at new business or focused on slow growth in the past is to avoid workforce bloat during leaner moments. Instead of being on the hook to pay an exclusively full-time staff – not to mention laying out for insurance plans, 401ks, pensions – employers who supplement their workforce with a talent cloud can hire freelancers on contracts that align with the flow of business and, if necessary, make unforeseen adjustments on shorter timelines.

With PeopleCaddie, a company is always plugged into a network of carefully cultivated contractors and a platform that offers smart searching and sortability. Cutting through the clutter to get to your next hire – a pre-vetted, rated and reviewed freelancer with a transparent work history and skill set – puts a world of hiring possibilities in employers’ hands.

Find out how PeopleCaddie’s talent cloud works by clicking here.

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Hiring Practices in 2021 Require Modernization

It’s no secret: The future of work differs materially from its past. Whereas workers once strived for steady employment and a secure pension – with “lifer” status at a single employer representing the brass ring – they now move fluidly (and willingly) from one company or gig to another, all of which challenges hiring practices today.

And there’s a flip side to that equation. Most large companies no longer boast a workforce made up solely of permanent, salaried employees. Today, full-time staff hires typically make up an organization’s core employee base, but the workforce is rounded out by part-time employees, temps, contractors and even remote freelancers. The corporate landscape has changed, and so too have the expectations of both employees and employers.

In the public accounting space, in particular, many large firms are increasingly turning to contingent labor to fill time-sensitive resource needs. For the employer, it’s a cost-control advantage: contractors are paid at an attractive rate, but the firm only pays them for billable hours – no salary, no benefits. In a seasonal industry, understanding the nature of contingent labor and its variable costs are critical to successfully leveraging this workforce and optimizing revenue.

Admittedly, that’s easier for larger firms. A more robust workforce, greater capital and internal systems that expedite the hiring process create more flexibility and better conditions to accommodate the ebbs and flows of seasonal labor needs. But in this environment, how can smaller firms compete? Here are some ways smaller firms can advance hiring practices in 2021:

  1. Find recruiters that are experienced in hiring contractors

Recruiting for permanent positions tends to be very different from recruiting contractors. The resumes of contract workers indicate more movement and don’t always contain the quality cues that recruiters look for in good permanent candidates – such as long stints with employers and methodical career progression. Inexperienced recruiters who apply those standards to short-term contract roles won’t have much success. You’ll want to move fast – and because contracting typically moves quicker than permanent hiring – you’ll want recruiters who understand that working on your behalf.

  1. Work only with industry-seasoned recruiters

Public accounting firms are always looking for specialized talent. Only internal human resource departments and agencies focused on the accounting industry, which understand and have their fingers on the pulse of the market, will be able to consistently deliver high-caliber talent when and where needed – particularly during audit and tax busy seasons, when the war for talent is most intense.

  1. Enlist the services of a digital talent platform

The Big Four have created their own private talent clouds, such as Gignow and the Flexibility Talent Network, to efficiently tap into the contingent labor market, which has modernized their hiring practices. But few mid-sized and small accounting firms have the scale, capital and technological expertise to build and manage their own private talent clouds. That also requires focus and time to establish awareness and credibility within the highly-dynamic contractor community and to build strong relationships with a critical mass of desirable contractors.

Instead, these other firms should consider partnering with an existing talent cloud – one that is open to all employers and has already done the heavy lifting for them. Talent clouds such as PeopleCaddie have a demonstrable network of proven contractors and a track record for delivering. By building what amounts to a toll bridge to the freelance market, a talent cloud provides firms outside of the Big Four with the ability to meet their seasonal needs without having to overcommit to permanent hires or heavily invest in resources to recruit contractors themselves.

The upshot is developing a robust pipeline of contracts is critical. But more importantly, it takes specialized expertise and investment. Whether it’s an internal recruiter, traditional staffing agency, or PeopleCaddie’s talent cloud, it’s important to develop the capability to consistently deliver talent when it’s most needed. 

Want to modernize your hiring practices? Check out how PeopleCaddie’s talent cloud works.

sgruenHiring Practices in 2021 Require Modernization

Hiring Contractors for Busy Season? A Step-by-Step Guide

For hiring managers at public accounting firms, there’s no challenge quite like managing busy season. Determining the workload, identifying shortfalls, scrambling to adequately staff engagements and adjusting in real time – it’s all part of the annual dance. But with a rock-solid plan and a few key resources (might we humbly suggest employing the services of a talent cloud that specializes in public accounting?), you won’t have to white-knuckle through the industry’s most stressful time of year. PeopleCaddie can facilitate hiring contractors who are a fit for your business while helping you prepare with a step-by-step guide to hiring contract resources for busy season:

  1. Complete demand forecasting and resource planning. Assess your upcoming client needs then take inventory of your existing workforce to identify resource gaps. Before hiring contractors to fill the gaps, are there any existing team members who can be redeployed? 
  1. Determine which partners, groups or teams will need contract resources. Consult with partners and team leaders to learn where your workforce falls short. Are the needs for full-time or part-time resources? How many hours will be required? You’ll ultimately have to determine the best allocation of contract resources, but be sure to take advantage of your leaders’ knowledge of their corner of your business.
  1. Can these resources be sourced by your existing TA team? Do they have experience sourcing contractors? Often, internal HR teams are focused on filling open permanent reqs and don’t have the bandwidth to also focus on filling busy season contract needs. Additionally, recruiting for contractors is a different skill set than recruiting for permanent hires. If you are desirous of having your internal team take on the added responsibility of filling contract needs, make sure that they have both the bandwidth and experience to do so effectively. Busy season is riding on their success.
  1. Will contractors be on-site or remote? This will determine where potential contractors can reside – it may be easier to find a resource when not limited to a small geographic area. It may also influence which contractors are interested in your roles, as some contractors are only interested in remote opportunities. The worksite will also be a factor in terms of employee interactions, work models and even logistics around current COVID regulations.
  1. Determine acceptable bill rates by business unit, practice area or group and seniority level. Even if there’s some leeway in your budget, you’ll want to set certain guidelines. Understanding bill rate ranges is incredibly important, as it will allow your recruiters and/or selected vendor(s) to determine the compensation rates that can be offered to candidates at each seniority level. In a hyper-competitive market for top talent, compensation is critically important to being able to secure desirable resources.
  1. Determine how available contract talent will be shared across the organization and how hiring decisions will be made quickly, as highly desirable talent doesn’t stay on the market for long. Have a plan in place to execute hiring and staffing efficiently. Don’t miss out on the best talent or risk staffing lags that adversely affect productivity.
  1. Engage a partner (talent cloud or agency) to assist you as needed. If you haven’t previously engaged in hiring contractors, make sure you choose a partner with a proven ability to deliver, including assisting with all aspects of the contracting process – from onboarding to offboarding.
  1. Prepare workspace, equipment, security access, IT platform access, time management process, communications, etc., as required to be able to support contractors. If you aren’t proactive and deliberate about these logistics, you’ll wind up with new contractors twiddling their thumbs, uncertain who reports to whom, work getting backlogged and regret over the waste of time and resources.
  1. Move quickly before all of the good talent gets locked up by other firms. Top contractors can take their pick of available roles. Be sure you’ve done everything in your power to position your firm to win the war for this coveted talent. If managed correctly, you can avoid having to settle for second-tier players, burning out your team because of staffing shortages, or opening the door to competitors because you have to decline engagements during busy season.

Looking to hire contractors for busy season? Click here to learn more about how PeopleCaddie’s talent cloud can help.

sgruenHiring Contractors for Busy Season? A Step-by-Step Guide

Accounting Busy Season Provides Opportunity For Contractors

There’s never a bad time to think about your career goals, your professional path and whether those two things align. A regular assessment of your current role, projects and potential opportunities isn’t just appropriate – it’s the key to opening new doors and maintaining forward momentum in your career. This is especially true as we approach the accounting busy season, when many employers require supplemental and temporary labor to meet their seasonal needs, and when an array of opportunities present themselves to contractors seeking a new challenge or a firm foothold for their next step.

Not sure if you’re ready for it just yet? If nothing else, think of the upcoming accounting busy season as a chance for you to test the waters. In addition to potentially increasing your level of income, a short-term contract role could be used to help you achieve – or begin reaching for – those long-term goals.

Ask yourself: Could a contract role help you transition from one function or competency to another? Are you a public accountant with an interest in investment banking – a notoriously competitive space? Maybe your current role is confined to external auditing but you have an interest in exploring work on internal audits. A contract role could jump-start your transition.

Have you had trouble getting a foot in the door with a desirable employer? During the busy season, many high-profile firms suddenly have a need for contract workers who can capitalize on that experience and exposure to make an impression. A contract role may be precisely the opening you need.

It could be that you have other reasons for considering a move. For instance, as the public potentially faces a new wave of the pandemic, you have significant concerns about returning to the office, which your employer has deemed mandatory. A short-term contract allows for a quick transition to a more flexible employer, a continuation of remote work and a chance to test the waters in a new role.

Perhaps there’s a particular skill or credential that you’d like to add to your profile? Your options may be more limited in fulfilling those goals throughout much of the year, but employers’ needs during the busy season offer unique opportunities to stock your professional toolbox. A contract assignment could be the way.

Beyond career development, there’s the practical side of gig work to consider. Are there busy season opportunities that could lead to meaningful annual assignments, preventing you from having to constantly scramble to find new clients? As an independent contractor, it’s always wise to think about clients interested in making use of your services on a recurring basis. 

Whether you’re content in your current role or searching for a new one at this moment, consider bookmarking the accounting busy season for an annual professional inventory. It’s typically the best time to try grabbing that next rung on the ladder – or to simply make a change that is right for you.

Looking for contract work? Check out PeopleCaddie’s jobs board.

sgruenAccounting Busy Season Provides Opportunity For Contractors

Return to Office Not For You? Try Contract Work

It has been a long 18 months since the pandemic arrived in earnest, and by now we’re all yearning for more signs of normalcy – even if that means a return to the daily grind. But many of us aren’t quite ready to return to the office. Whether it’s health concerns, the discovery of remote-work benefits or something else, a lot of American workers are still hesitant about embracing office life again. Some may even look around at their new normal – extra time with the kids, no more brutal commute, schedule flexibility that allows for a workout or a nap – and wonder if they’ll ever go back to the old ways.

But as certain employers have begun mandating vaccines and more workers are faced with the prospect of a forced return to the office, it may be time to ask yourself a question: Would a remote contract role be right for me?

Perhaps remote work isn’t just a preference. Maybe you choose not to get vaccinated based on religious reasons, or over health concerns. If an employer draws a line at vaccination, you may need to begin considering alternatives. Conversely, an employer may have minimal COVID protocols, and it could be that you’re squeamish about going back into the office and risking exposure. In either case, contract work may be the best option for you.

Mandates are bound to have a cascading effect that leads employees to make tough choices and precipitates significant worker migration, in and out of office jobs and staff positions. That flux figures to create openings for skilled, experienced professionals who hadn’t previously considered contract work to begin making their marks as contractors. For lifetime office workers, the opportunity to break away and experience the freedom and flexibility of remote work and the contracting life has arguably never been easier or more compelling.

One of the simplest ways to get started, while building up the most exposure and driving the greatest demand for your services, is through a talent cloud. PeopleCaddie makes it easy to set up a profile, showcase your work history, projects and skills, and get connected with employers who are looking for contractors like you. And the longer you’re in the cloud, the more great work you put in for clients in the network, the more likely they’ll come back to you for more – and that others will respond to your glowing reviews and begin enquiring about your rates and availability.

Contracting success doesn’t occur overnight. But we’ve reached an inflection point for contract work, and with a true partner like PeopleCaddie helping to guide your independent contracting career, you can feel confident making the leap and start anticipating all the perks that come with the contracting life right away.

Looking to transition from a full-time role to contract work? Check out PeopleCaddie’s list of contract openings.

sgruenReturn to Office Not For You? Try Contract Work

Labor Scarcity Hurting Workflow? Hire a Contractor While You Search

Too much business is a good problem for any company to have – but it is a problem. How does the work get done when your team is already at maximum capacity? Hiring permanent talent can be difficult in any market environment, but the process is positively brutal during a period of labor scarcity as dramatic as our current one. Identifying and vetting candidates then onboarding a new employee takes an increasingly inordinate amount of time – and that translates to lost business opportunities for your company. But as a hiring manager, you have options.

The most compelling among them: hire a contractor. Staffing up with permanent employees is a slog, but a contract employee can sometimes be brought on board in as little as a day – especially when that hiring is put in the hands of a talent cloud. By filling long-term roles with short-term solutions, you’ve addressed the most time-sensitive issue: your company has filled an immediate need that was causing pain and/or leading to lost revenue.

Shifting the burden of the extra workload caused by labor scarcity on existing staff is neither ethical nor wise. An employee who is expected to pick up the slack when the organization is understaffed may become resentful. They’re also on a path to being some other company’s employee. Particularly in today’s job market, a good employee doesn’t have to put up with burnout or the indifference of an employer. And let’s face it: The last thing you need in this environment is more attrition.

The added benefit of a talent cloud is the ability to engage highly-skilled contractors who may have provided work for your company (or others like it) in the past. Even when hiring a full-timer, there can be a lag between their first day and the moment when they’re operating at peak performance in your organization. Imagine learning of a hiring need, filling it quickly with a contractor who knows your business backwards and forward, then turning your attention to finding the best long-term solution. No blip in production levels. Total peace of mind.

Perhaps you’re matched with a contractor who hasn’t worked for your company before. Because a talent cloud pools the best contractors and helps build their skill sets with appropriate projects, you may land not only an ideal temporary fix but someone who morphs into a gem of a long-term associate. There’s nothing that says a human resources department is required to contract-to-hire – but there’s nothing that says they can’t either.

Think of a talent cloud as a technologically-advanced staffing firm with both the power to provide a solution to your company’s short-term hiring needs and the potential to deliver the perfect long-term solution for your team. The digital hiring revolution has arrived.

Interested in learning more about PeopleCaddie’s talent cloud? Click here to watch a short video on how it can help you overcome labor scarcity.

sgruenLabor Scarcity Hurting Workflow? Hire a Contractor While You Search

Reach Contractors Using a Mobile Device

In many ways, the basics of hiring have remained unchanged for years: Prospective employees submit resumes or portfolios to an employer. The employer reviews them, vets the candidates and calls in the best applicants for interviews. The standout earns the job. Pretty straightforward stuff. Except that hiring never has been that simple. In fact, most companies aren’t very good at it. Which means employers should seek out every advantage that may give them an edge over their competition to acquire top talent and particularly reach contractors. One area they should consider leaning into immediately: mobile.

It might seem at first that there isn’t much for an employer to lean into. Every professional job applicant, almost without exception, has a cellphone, right? And roughly the same percentage of modern websites have been optimized for mobile. If you have every applicant’s mobile contact info, what more is there to do?

Start with a talent cloud. A platform like PeopleCaddie empowers an employer with the full scope of mobile capabilities to stay connected with, reach contractors and come to an agreement quickly. 

When recruiting in highly skilled industries, it’s rare that an employer expects a contractor to begin work the next day. Still, every hiring manager should feel an urgency to plug into the contractor pipeline through on-the-go communications. Today, everything is geared toward the mobile experience. We all crave convenience, connectivity, quick response times – to the point that instant connection has become the expectation on both sides of the hiring equation.

If a client has a key deliverable they can’t miss, they need resources as quickly as possible. Seasonal cycles and increased demand for specialized talent can put pressure on hiring managers to act fast. And because modern job seekers are more open to sharing information and transacting business over the phone, it’s in a company’s best interest to make those options available to avoid missing out on desirable candidates.

A talent cloud offers that ability. Employers still rely on some version of the traditional vetting-and-interview proceedings, rarely deferring altogether to a staffing agency in that regard. But the talent acquisition steps preceding and following the employer’s interview have shortened. Although there remains a level of scrutiny on resources, contingent labor agreements are happening at a more rapid pace – including in the tax and audit spaces. The result: companies that can’t keep up get left behind. And that means relying on efficient ways to reach contracts can be a boon to a business’ bottom line. 

There’s no reason for panic, though. The mobile revolution that has touched almost every aspect of business is little more than the latest optimization of professional processes, the next phase of technology adaptation. With a talent cloud, the tools are there for any hiring manager to pick up and put to use – and they’re simply too valuable to ignore.

Check out how PeopleCaddie helps businesses reach contractors using a mobile device.

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Contracting Shouldn’t Be Fear-Filled

So you’ve reached the end of the line. For whatever reason, you’ve decided that you’re finished with the full-time professional grind. It’s time to make a go of the contracting life, to start enjoying all the flexibility and benefits contract work has to offer. You’re ready to be your own boss, make your own schedule. Time to take the plunge. Only one problem:

You’re freaking out.

It’s a significant transition leaping from a structured, one-to-one employment relationship to a world in which you’re management, marketing agency, human resources and the IT guy – and all before you ever lift a finger for the work you’ve actually been hired to do. You have questions, concerns, anxieties. Maybe you’re no-bones-about-it terrified. The good news: you’re not alone. Most every former staff employee went through the same range of emotions before venturing out as a contractor. How, then, do you go about overcoming that initial fear of contracting?

Start by entering into contract work with a comprehensive plan. You won’t get far flying blind, and the more variables you address in advance will give you the peace of mind in your career as a contractor to successfully see it through. Here’s what to consider:

Rates. You’ll want to have a solid idea what the going rate is for a contractor with your skill set and experience. If you have expertise that’s in high demand or simply have a salary expectation in mind, you can adjust accordingly. Just keep in mind: pricing your services competitively is key to consistently drawing the interest from multiple clients that will keep you busy with work.

Preparation. As much as possible, contractors should be ready to hit the ground running when starting a new contract. Many employers pay top dollar for highly-skilled workers, so you should try to maintain the mindset of going above and beyond, overdelivering on a daily basis through the duration of a project. Be prepared to learn a company’s technology quickly, as well as any important protocols or best practices that may be unique to a business.

Relationships. Forge a strong relationship with the right staffing agency for yourself and your career. This can be instrumental in securing proprietary opportunities – often ones that other contractors will never know even existed. What’s more, agencies have relationships with clients who will trust them when they vouch for your skills, integrity, work history and ability to perform in a given role.

Focus. Think about the companies you’d like to learn from and the sort of work you’d like to be doing. Where will you make valuable contacts and pick up new competencies you can’t get elsewhere? Be deliberate about the contracts you choose and the agencies you choose to partner with on your contracting journey. Done correctly, contracting opportunities offer autonomy over your career, with more flexibility, pay and growth options as you get more contracts under your belt.

These are just a few of the considerations you’ll want to give some thought to before making the leap from perm to contracting. Not only can you overcome the apprehension that comes with any new and unfamiliar experience, but by creating a plan and carefully thinking through your objectives in advance, you’ll be able to land more of the projects that interest you, gain experience with desirable clients and keep developing a toolbox of skills that will help position you for more attractive contract work and better rates in the future.

With PeopleCaddie, it’s easy to make the leap to contract work. Check out our jobs page!

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Talent Shortage Staffing Best Practices

Much of the news about the hiring market these days focuses on the pandemic and the slow return of workers to the labor force, but many of the positions at the heart of those conversations are found at entry levels and within sectors like the service industry. The irony for employers on the hunt for skilled labor is that they have been grappling with a talent shortage for years.

According to a ManpowerGroup study released before last year’s COVID shutdown, global talent shortages had almost doubled in the previous decade. Research indicated that 54 percent of companies reported skills shortages, with the United States (69 percent) reporting the most acute shortage of 44 countries surveyed.

The truth is, this development shouldn’t catch anyone off guard. As new technologies emerge, more specialized education, training and expertise is required. In fact, those rising shortage numbers figure to remain on an upward trajectory for the near future.

“In an increasingly tech-enabled world, people with skills are in demand,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup chairman and CEO, in a statement about the study.

As a hiring manager, you have more tools than you might think for tracking down and bringing aboard qualified personnel during a talent shortage. By turning to contract employees, it’s possible to fill temporary gaps, hire quickly and tap into a pipeline of specialized workers without committing to long-term relationships that could lead to bloat or overstaffing as your company’s needs change.

More workers than ever before indicate a preference for contracting, which means your business isn’t limited to the shallow end of the talent pool. And even in the midst of a talent shortage, there are ways to make your company and the roles you’re offering more attractive. Consider:

Higher pay: This almost goes without saying, but it’s important to remember your cost savings in a contract relationship (insurance, 401k, etc.) and weigh it against the urgency and duration of your need. You might ask yourself: “Can I afford to pay a contractor an above-market rate for a highly-skilled role on a three-month project?” If so, ask yourself this: “Can I afford not to?”

Flexible work: Some workers value the ability to work remotely so highly that they will accept higher employment risk in return. Even for positions that traditionally require an in-office presence, perhaps a day or two of work from home might be allowed as an hiring incentive. Contract workers also typically enjoy extended breaks between assignments, allowing them to take care-free vacations without having to think about the work piling up on their desks while they are gone.

Training and skills development: Some companies are connected to professional-growth programs that could help sway a contract worker weighing an offer. “We know from conversations with candidates, clients and from our data that workers want flexibility and the opportunity to learn new skills,” Prising said. “As the pace of disruption accelerates, helping people adapt for future jobs and companies becoming creators of talent has never been more important.”

Some skilled workers won’t settle for less than full-time, salaried employment – and that’s OK. Your workforce should consist of a percentage of staff employees, which bring stability and proprietary knowledge to your company while giving contract workers who are interested in permanent work something to aspire to.

The number of contractors you’ll require will be dictated by the unique needs of your company at any given time. But by opening up your job search to the contract workforce, you can ensure that you’ll have the flexibility to meet those needs without overcommitting to staff in the future – while at the same time leaving no stone unturned in the search for elusive talent.

Short on talent? See how our talent cloud works here.

sgruenTalent Shortage Staffing Best Practices