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AI Candidate Search Evolving Hiring Strategies

Working in human resources and talent acquisition today means facing the same fears that spooked auto workers back in the 1970s and ‘80s: advanced machinery that automates manual tasks – and threatens the livelihood of the humans currently performing them. Artificial intelligence may be a modern marvel and a potential boon to companies’ bottom lines, but the hum of progress sounds far more pleasant from the chair of the executive or board member than it does, say, inside the walls of the HR department. Or does it? There’s no doubt that AI is changing how organizations search for and evaluate prospects — AI candidate search is being tested in corporations around the world — and it seems just as certain that these changes will affect the jobs of hiring professionals.

But when? And in which ways, exactly? Should the folks currently tasked with talent acquisition be polishing up their own resumes right now, or might AI’s influence simply make their professional lives easier? Let’s first consider how companies are using AI and the changes the technology has already had in the industry.

How Companies Are Currently Leveraging AI Candidate Search

Sifting through resumes is a long, labor-intensive process, and humans simply aren’t equipped with the processing power to give equal consideration to hundreds of applications for a single job. That’s where AI steps in, identifying attractive prospects based on keywords, phrases, and other pre-selected qualifiers and narrowing down the field to a number that allows for more scrutiny and critical thinking from hiring professionals.

But that’s just the simple stuff. AI is capable of much more: If you have a LinkedIn account, for instance, chances are you’ve been engaging with artificial intelligence in a talent acquisition setting for years. Job recommendations that are emailed to members and contacts from recruiters are generated or facilitated by AI. It’s even possible that the message from a hiring professional was written by an AI-powered chatbot. And it should be noted: These advances have yet to curtail opportunities for human beings in the talent acquisition space, which is thriving like never before.

The Future of AI in Hiring

Consider a scenario: An Atlanta-based company is in urgent need of filling its director of marketing role, which has very specific specifications. The organization wants the new hire to work in the office 2-3 days a week, which immediately limits the talent pool to a 30-mile radius around headquarters. The company is looking for a specific skill set and a prospect who is interested and available, which likely indicates a contractor rather than someone already in a permanent position. AI candidate search has the power to supercharge this process, but it can’t generate those inputs on its own. Nor would any sane executive leave the ultimate decision of who to hire to a machine. What ultimately matters to the company is that AI helped its people arrive at the decision faster – and beat the competition to the ideal hire.

As industry invests more capital in AI initiatives – and companies are doing, and will continue to do, just that – the evolution of the technology can be expected to accelerate further. (The introduction of ChatGPT-4 in November 2022, for example, represents a quantum leap forward.) AI’s burgeoning capabilities will lead to the automation of more human tasks and, at some point in the future, likely lead to the downsizing of certain traditional talent acquisition roles.

But we aren’t there yet. At the same time that Meta has publicly staked its future on AI, it has cut 11,000 jobs – with another 10,000 layoffs to come. And Facebook’s parent company isn’t alone. The entire technology space is still reckoning with last year’s overzealous hiring spree, which means the “AI takeover” may manifest as more of a slow creep than a dead sprint. 

More importantly, there will always be a need for the human touch in hiring. AI can’t properly perform its function without up-front inputs from hiring professionals. Its results will need to be carefully and constantly scrutinized for biases, and the inputs adjusted accordingly. And there are complexities in hiring that even the most dynamic AI tools can’t fully account for. People will indeed need to adapt to the changes brought on by AI – but they aren’t in any danger of being replaced by it.

Interested in learning more about how you can augment HR initiatives with technology? Check out how the PeopleCaddie talent cloud.

sgruenAI Candidate Search Evolving Hiring Strategies

Tech Layoffs: What They Mean for the Labor Market

Recent waves of layoffs in the technology sector have received plenty of mainstream attention, from shock at the sheer numbers involved to concerns over how they may handcuff ethical tech innovation. But what has been discussed less often in the public forum are the real-life effects of those cuts on the future job prospects of the tens of thousands of people recently turned loose by tech companies.

Amid recent reports that Salesforce was considering another round of layoffs – adding to the 10 percent of the CRM software company’s workforce that was lopped from its rolls in January – it’s impossible for anyone following the tech sector (and employment in general) to wonder: What happens next? Should we expect other organizations in the space to continue downsizing? Can progress – true product-and-services innovation, not just smoke-and-mirrors growth on quarterly reports – be achieved with the skeleton crews left behind? And what does it all mean for the workers currently on the outside looking in?

How Contractors Can Help Companies Avoid Layoffs in Technology 

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the recent tech layoffs is the lack of evidence that they even work. Reducing staff may be the swiftest and boldest way to demonstrate to a board of directors and the public that a company’s leadership is serious about cutting costs and achieving solvency. But if anything, research on the subject suggests that payroll-slashing organizations may simply be trading long-term pain for short-term relief.

Even if the intention of these companies is to simply rebalance their workforces, it’s important for everyone involved to understand how we arrived here. High times and ambitious initiatives led to a gold rush on tech talent in 2022 – just ahead of a gut punch of an economic downturn. Could those conditions have been anticipated? More importantly, is there a way for savvy organizations to strive for growth while hedging against exactly these sorts of unforeseen market declines?

The easy answer is yes. Cultivating and strategically curating an independent contractor workforce may be the best method for companies – in tech or otherwise – to avoid over-committing to permanent staff while continuing to take steps toward meeting their organizational goals. Even now, in the aftermath of (or perhaps amid) the waves of layoffs in the tech sector, employers have an opportunity to sift through the best available prospects to land skilled talent that they may not have previously been able to access.

An Open Window of Opportunity

For all the professional chaos and personal heartache that layoffs in technology have caused over the past few months, there is a silver lining of sorts – and not only for employers. No worker wishes for the rug to be pulled out from under their feet, but the reality is that a layoff in the tech sector at this time can create a window for professional advancement. Top tech companies that have scaled back staff won’t simply sit on their hands until the economy turns again. Objectives must be met. Growth must be spurred. Talent must be acquired to meet these demands.

Independent contractors are often paid at higher rates than permanent employees, and contracting can offer the foothold into a coveted company that a worker searching for a staff position may have otherwise been denied. Opportunities to hone new competencies or pad a resume with experience working for a preferred employer are some of the advantages of contract work.

And PeopleCaddie can help. Whether you’re an employer needing specialized, short-term help or a skilled candidate searching for new and more lucrative opportunities, PeopleCaddie can connect you with the resources you need. Our proprietary platform allows prospects to add their profiles to our contractor network, from which our partner clients identify the talent that best fits their needs. In and outside the technology space, PeopleCaddie quickly connects employers and employees in professional engagements that reward workers and organizations alike.

If you’ve recently been laid off, you may want to consider entering the contingent labor pool. Contact PeopleCaddie to find out how our talent cloud helps contingent laborers build their businesses.

sgruenTech Layoffs: What They Mean for the Labor Market

The Shadow Workforce: Rallying Support

Headlines dominating recent news cycles have grimly tallied the number of layoffs at high-profile corporations, especially those among organizations in the technology sector. The figures measure the toll on permanent employees, but they almost never include the job cuts among contingent laborers. There’s a reason this group sometimes goes by another name: the shadow workforce.

Too often, there are workers who go unrecognized or unaccounted for by organizations, industries or governments. They may be temps, freelancers, gig workers or independent contractors, and may work off the books or outside of traditional employment channels. Even in professional settings, where employees tend to escape the sometimes-harsh treatment of seasonal and migrant workers, and other blue-collar temps, members of the shadow workforce may face unfair labor practices, lack certain rights and protections, and receive unequal compensation for the same work as permanent employees.

These workers are far less visible, but no less valuable than their permanent counterparts – even as the former group outnumbers the latter in many organizations. Google, for instance, employed 120,000 permanent employees as of March 2019, while using 123,000 contractors and temps, according to the New York Times. But the company’s shadow workforce didn’t just find recognition elusive. Its members were often separated from the company’s permanent workforce in significant ways, not only being denied perks (such as free company shuttles to the office) but even basic safety considerations (an email regarding workplace security concerns that only permanent workers received).

The Value of the Shadow Workforce

It’s hard to imagine any industry today remaining productive and profitable without the contributions of the shadow workforce. Contingent workers provide specialized skills and expertise on an as-needed basis, providing organizations with access to valued human capital without the long-term commitment and overhead costs associated with permanent employees.

This relationship can be a win-win, with contractors and other members of the shadow workforce often able to work at higher income rates and take advantage of flexibilities that may not be afforded to permanent employees. But this isn’t always the case. And the less attention that is paid to this workforce, the more likely its members are to be exploited or given fewer opportunities for pay increases, advancement and even more basic workplace considerations.

Shining a Light on the Shadow Workforce

Certain requirements under U.S. legislation should theoretically level the playing field for the shadow workforce. The WARN Act (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) is a federal law that requires employers with 100 or more full-time employees to provide advance notice to workers ahead of a mass layoff or closure. Under the WARN Act, qualifying employers must give at least 60 days’ notice to workers – in writing and including specific information about the event – or risk liability for back pay, benefits and possible civil penalties.

But many smaller companies use contractors, too, meaning that members of the shadow workforce contracting at 30-, 60- and 90-employee operations are unprotected by the WARN Act. And although many companies treat their contingent laborers with dignity and fairness, there are too few protections in general for the shadow workforce. Given their ability to allow organizations to scale operations and staff projects as needed, the shadow workforce is an incredibly valuable commodity to industry – a group that should be celebrated, nurtured and safeguarded from exploitative practices.

Want to learn more about how you can leverage contingent labor? Contact a PeopleCaddie representative today.

sgruenThe Shadow Workforce: Rallying Support

Abolishing Noncompetes May Stimulate Contractor Market

In January, the Federal Trade Commission announced a proposal that, if successful, would represent a seismic shift in the way business is conducted across a variety of sectors: abolishing noncompetes. The practice of contractually protecting specific corporate interests, which has existed in some form for hundreds of years, is likely to come under more scrutiny over the next few weeks and months than ever before.

What could all that wrangling mean for employees (specifically contractors), and how might it affect employers – particularly their bottom lines? We’ll know more after the FTC closes the public comment period March 10, but any subsequent decision will likely be met with opposition from employers and business groups. The final word on the subject may yet be a long way off, but here’s a quick primer on how a ban on noncompete clauses could be expected to affect employers and employees – and possibly even stimulate the market for independent contractors.

Business as Usual for Employers?

There are legitimate reasons businesses can point to for pushing back on a the potential of abolishing noncompetes. The hiring clauses help insulate companies from the widespread sharing of trade secrets and proprietary information that could unfairly benefit competing organizations. The argument for noncompetes, which often prevent employees from working for or consulting with a company’s competitors for a prescribed length of time, can be compared to the spirit behind the pharmaceutical industry’s intellectual property protections: “The patent system,” according to PhRMA, “strikes a balance between promoting innovation and affordability for patients who rely on new treatments, improvements and cures.”

Noncompetes help safeguard the profit motivation, ensuring that businesses aren’t investing in new technologies, initiatives and employee growth simply to see their hard-earned gains passed on to business rivals. Companies that make sound decisions and smart investments, reasonable minds would surely agree, deserve to be rewarded for their efforts.

However, the FTC argues that noncompetes actually hinder innovation and notes that employers “have other ways to protect trade secrets and other valuable investments that are significantly less harmful to workers and consumers.” At least one labor law opinion asserts that restrictive covenants can and should be written more narrowly: “The restrictions themselves should be no broader than necessary to protect those legitimate interests, and they must be reasonable in terms of duration, geography and scope of activities prohibited.”

And after all, employee movement flows both ways. Over time, shared knowledge feeds corporate innovation that tends to be a tide that lifts all ships. Abolishing noncompetes ultimately could boost rather than curb business.

More Freedom for Employees and Contractors

Employees understandably disagree with the current deployment of noncompete clauses. No small amount of anecdotal and empirical evidence indicates that noncompetes suppress wages and professional development, handcuff employee mobility and make it difficult for workers to render services to multiple companies over a relatively short period of time – an especially problematic sticking point for contractors. The FTC estimates that a ban on current noncompete practices “could increase wages by nearly $300 billion per year and expand career opportunities for about 30 million Americans.”

Even those on the employer side agree that a noncompetes ban would prompt organizations to become more creative in retaining talent, leading to juicier compensation for permanent employees while ensuring less restrictive movement between assignments for contract employees.

Whether noncompetes stay or go isn’t an issue that’s likely to be resolved soon. But in the meantime, a more focused, transparent approach to noncompetes could help both sides find a common ground that would benefit all parties.

Looking for more guidance on the contract market? Check out PeopleCaddie’s blog.

sgruenAbolishing Noncompetes May Stimulate Contractor Market

Talent Leaving California: How Industries Can Capitalize

If an observer following the headlines coming out of Silicon Valley in recent months didn’t know any better, they would have to assume the bottom is currently dropping out of the technology industry. An estimated 70,000 jobs were shed by Google, Microsoft, Amazon and other tech giants in 2022, and some predict that the sector isn’t finished making significant cuts. All of this means talent is leaving California. 

Yet a deeper analysis of the space reveals a less-discussed resilience (overall employment is down only about 5,000 jobs) and one gargantuan elephant in the room: a sweeping redistribution of tech talent that appears to be happening before our eyes. The recent migration of tech talent to Austin-area companies and startups is one example of this phenomenon, but lately, a new trend has emerged: traditional, publicly traded corporations best known for their work outside the technology space are suddenly showing interest in top tech talent – and receiving it in return. This competition is also a contributing factor as to why tech talent is leaving California. 

A Case Study: Detroit Automakers

Top American automakers, quite literally, have been nuts-and-bolts operations for decades. But recent advances in vehicle software, automation, and electric power – as well as the growing expectations of auto consumers – have forced Detroit to rethink traditional hiring practices. According to the Detroit Free Press, for example, General Motors confirmed that it has thawed an existing hiring freeze in order to make a run at the tech talent made available by the recent layoffs in the space.

“Two years ago, a software developer or engineer in Silicon Valley was not taking GM’s call,” Dan Ives, managing director and senior equity analyst at Wedbush Securities, told the Free Press. “Today, they are actively looking to work at GM. GM has fully bet on their electric vehicle future and under the hood they are a very mature company that is essentially an entrepreneurial startup-like in spirit.”

GM is hardly the exception to the rule. Not only are familiar automakers such as Ford, Nissan and Volvo vying to become the leader in EV and tech-forward automobiles, but newer entries like Tesla, Rivian, Nikola and Lucid are driving the demand for engineers, programmers and other tech talent in today’s version of the space race. And that’s just in the automaking space. Ives says that for every 10 workers cut loose by tech organizations, one or two will move on to “transformational industries,” including but certainly not limited to electric automakers.

The Next Move for Tech-Thirsty Hirers

As our world becomes increasingly computerized, digitized, electrified and automated, entire industries are being overhauled to make way for more productive, efficient and affordable technology solutions. Those developments will unfold within the tech sector, of course, but they’ll also extend far beyond. More businesses than ever now require tech talent to compete – and their corresponding HR departments and hiring staff often lack experience in identifying, vetting and bringing aboard those workers.

Simply put, these organizations may not fully understand their labor needs on the tech side. Companies unaccustomed to building out or incorporating tech initiatives into their core business run the risk of over- or under-hiring, particularly if they don’t have a firm grasp on their new hires’ capabilities and limitations. In cases like these, contingent labor is frequently a company’s best option.

Contingent labor offers a publicly traded company the freedom and flexibility to make adjustments to a workforce as needed, materially reducing its financial risk and allowing for quick responses to changes in the economy, market or organization. A third-party talent cloud such as PeopleCaddie can help your business identify and connect with top-quality technology contractors – and even assist you in creating a contingent labor strategy that meets your needs – no matter your familiarity or comfort in hiring tech talent.

PeopleCaddie can help your organization address its need for tech talent. Here is how our talent cloud can work for you.

sgruenTalent Leaving California: How Industries Can Capitalize

Benefits of Contingent Labor for Non-Seasonal Business

Every business has needs that exist beyond the scope of its own services and expertise. A technology startup is on the hook for an end-of-year audit. A bank needs to perform a review of its residential mortgage underwriting decisions.

Often, though, the talent that’s most qualified and best equipped to handle important projects and initiatives within an organization can only be found outside the organization. In these cases, a company may consider creating a new department and hiring a full-time team to staff it. But what if the project has a finite timeline or ongoing demands that don’t merit a permanent workforce and long-term commitment? A third-party vendor could do the trick, but a company cedes a certain amount of control in those situations – and the bill can get outrageously expensive.

But there is another option to consider: the benefits of contingent labor. Some organizations and hiring specialists may consider contract workers only for recurring, cyclical business demands, but that could be a missed opportunity. Contingent labor can be extremely useful and cost-effective for non-seasonal businesses and non-seasonal needs. Here’s how:

Consultants or Contractors?

In recent years, the line between consulting work and highly skilled contingent labor has been blurred – and that’s a credit to the volume and quality of contract workers now available to companies everywhere. But while a consultant may be the right fit in some instances, not every situation calls for an expensive C-suite-level retainer. Organizations frequently need specialized talent to fulfill short-term goals without busting payroll. That’s where contract workers can help.

In the realm of professional services, for example, the ideal hire may often be a candidate with McKinsey & Company-type expertise. But those workers tend to command a premium salary, and a certain percentage of them aren’t willing to accept anything other than full-time employment – which would put them out of reach for certain companies and/or positions. But an organization still has access to that caliber of talent – and at a far more affordable rate – through contract labor.

Flexibility and Filling the Gaps

In addition to helping non-seasonal businesses meet a necessary level of talent, contingent labor helps organizations optimize staffing logistics. Contract workers can be hired and onboarded quickly, allowing companies to nimbly scale their labor force to match fluctuating workflows. Rather than being tied to the overhead and long-term commitment of permanent employees, contingent laborers offer the flexibility to almost instantly and efficiently modulate a workforce to meet business needs as they arise.

Contractors also meet fractional needs – short shifts or work weeks or projects with brief, well-defined timelines. In any situation in which a resource is needed on a limited basis or for a finite period of time – especially when that resource is expensive, highly specialized expertise – contingent labor routinely offers the solution. Whether or not your business’ needs are seasonal, PeopleCaddie can connect you with the expert talent that best fits your role and time frame.

sgruenBenefits of Contingent Labor for Non-Seasonal Business

Does Geography Matter for Independent Contractors?

Over the past few years, the pandemic, a series of huge market swings, and an exodus of employees from the labor pool have forced us to reconsider what we thought we knew about hiring and employment – and specifically contingent labor. Although independent contracting, or gig work, had once been considered an inferior career route, it has become a preferred choice for an increasingly vast number of Americans, as well as global citizens.

The contingent labor market has allowed more people to find lucrative and career-advancing work in their field of expertise, while offering companies the flexibility to access specialized, in-demand talent without having to overcommit to long-term employment relationships. Often, those terms also allowed the contractor to work from almost anywhere, which served to further expand the talent pool for employers and the job market for employees.

It’s worth asking, then, whether the contingent labor market has reached peak globalization – a point at which location is no longer relevant and organizations have no reason to value a contractor in Indonesia any differently than they do another with the same skill set based in Indiana. When it comes to independent contractors, does geography matter anymore?

Location Is No Longer an Afterthought

Even just a year ago, the hiring market was so dry that few organizations – whether in tech, finance, engineering or elsewhere – could afford to let useful talent slip through their fingers based on a triviality like location. With all the remote tools at the disposal of business and the maturity of the global cloud infrastructure, no HR professional worth their salt would turn away a qualified employee that would complete most of her daily work behind a computer on a technicality like geography.

But it seems the tides, yet again, are shifting and employers and contracts alike are asking themselves” does geography matter? At PeopleCaddie, we’re seeing that the majority of our contractor listings are remote-based – but the percentage of on-site gigs is increasing. And even if a job is listed as a remote position, employers typically favor local candidates. This may be, in part, because of a prospect’s knowledge of local bylaws (example: a CPA or auditor). More PeopleCaddie contractors are also being converted to permanent hires in short order, suggesting that companies are using contingent labor as a sort of litmus test for vetting a candidate, taking measure of their work and deciding whether they make for a strong long-term fit.

Contractors: Know the Landscape

The reality is that a majority of employers will always prefer to have all their workers under one roof (or strategically positioned under several). It’s simple: On-site work is more convenient and collaborative, and provides more control to employers. But no two positions, companies or industries are the same. And the most recent shakeup in the remote-versus-office dynamic – and one of the most dramatic in history – was driven not by business forces but a worldwide health emergency and virtually unprecedented employee pushback. This isn’t the end of the geographical debate; it will only change shape over time.

That said, a contractor’s ability to understand and adjust to these contexts, both on a macro and micro level, is a valuable asset. Be sure to research the companies that engage you. Ask questions about their contingent labor strategy (how long is the average gig term? What percentage of contractors are converted to perm employees?) in your interview. Ask yourself: Am I willing to move, or risk losing an offer, if the company expects me to work in the office? There are no “right” answers to the latter question. But asking it should help focus your job search and save you time in the long run.

Looking for more tips on navigating the contractor market? Check out the PeopleCaddie blog.

sgruenDoes Geography Matter for Independent Contractors?

Contractor Market Is Immune to Fed Policy

Inflation is the current buzzword and bane of the business world, as the Federal Reserve continues to go to great lengths to stifle spending with borrowing rates we haven’t seen in over a decade. More grimly, those figures are only projected to go up in 2023, with some estimates as high as 5.75 percent – which would represent the highest rates in more than 20 years. The skyrocketing increases – the seventh consecutive rate hike, if you’re counting – would seem to put companies in a difficult position to retain talent and complete existing projects, let alone grow new business. And while wholesale cuts in the technology sector, among other industries, would seem to support that notion, organizations need not forgo staffing key initiatives or freeze hiring based on the Fed’s maneuverings. In fact, now may be the best time for your business to level up – at a time when competitors are skittish and often seeking to downsize. How? By hiring looking at the contractor market.

Inflation, Downturns, and Contract Staffing

The job cuts described in recent headlines have mostly been made up of permanent workers and full-time staff. The hiring boom of early 2022 proved to be a reach for some companies, with many organizations now reacting by deciding to scale back in the face of what many believe to be a looming recession.

But the economy and job market are fickle, and the business climate in different sectors (and even among different companies within a sector) may dictate widely divergent approaches to hiring. The economic pendulum always swings back, and the organizations that remain nimble and ready to scale up or down based on market changes and their own growth plans will be in the best position to take advantage in the moment. This is where contingent labor shines.

Independent contractors allow businesses to access specialized talent as needed, without committing long-term resources to staffing. Companies can turn the talent pipeline on or off, based on immediate and short-term foreseeable needs, by working with a hiring agency or talent cloud (like PeopleCaddie). Avoiding unemployment insurance and other overhead associated with permanent employees, organizations can tap contingent labor to move forward with business initiatives and make ground on competitors, often even during lean economic times.

An Opportunity for Independent Contractors

With more companies thinking creatively and proactively while the market is down, employees who are part of the contractor market may have a better chance of being hired and landing gigs that otherwise might have been out of reach. Consider that some companies might be less willing to commit to a full-timer lacking experience than a contractor with the same background. Independent contracting can be the foot in the door an employee seeks at a certain business, or a path to working on a specific competency that will help build out their skill set.

Employees concerned about job security (especially given the recent layoffs we’ve witnessed) shouldn’t fear independent contracting. These aren’t the old days. The vast majority of employment today is at will, which means even “permanent” employees are no less or more likely to be cut loose than a contractor. 

Neither should workers view independent contracting as an all-or-nothing proposition. By remaining open to both full-time work and contract gigs, an employee leaves the door open to every potential job opportunity in what has become a tighter hiring market. Why not cast a wide net – and possibly even consider contracting on the side, or for multiple organizations – to hedge against staffing volatility?

Rising inflation and a slowing economy don’t have to spell gloom and doom for business – or for employees. Independent contracting can be a viable solution for both sides.

Interested in contract work? Download the PeopleCaddie app now to become part of our talent cloud.

sgruenContractor Market Is Immune to Fed Policy

Navigating Quiet Hiring

Inflation is up and the economy is dragging. An ongoing talent shortage has left many companies grasping for straws, with too few quality prospects in the candidate pool and little leeway to cover new payroll commitments. Let’s face it: Employers are up against it. But they’re hardly out of options. One trend experts expect to see flourish in 2023 is the practice of quiet hiring – when companies acquire new skills without hiring permanent full-time employees.

Although this can describe retraining and moving existing employees to new positions, quiet hiring also includes bringing aboard independent contractors to fill short-term, temporary roles. If you aren’t already taking advantage of contingent labor to meet these needs, consider a few reasons why you should.

Advantages of Quiet Hiring Contractors

Corporate skills acquisition doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. If a company isn’t in a position to hire more permanent employees to meet business demand – or simply finds other options more prudent – it doesn’t have to choose exclusively between reassigning current employees or hiring part-time or temporary contractors. Why not both?

In any case, an organization should have a well-considered and consistently reviewed strategy that evaluates labor as a whole, but also develop an action plan for each segment of a workforce to optimize all available assets. Permanent hires and employee reassignment should never be ruled out altogether, but here’s why independent contractors are often a company’s best bet:

  1. Payroll flexibility and overall cost savings. Contractors are intended to be hired on a temporary basis, for a finite (and often short) term of employment. This allows companies to access specialized labor for completing seasonal tasks or ad hoc projects without committing to long-term salary or the typical overhead (unemployment insurance, pensions, etc.) associated with permanent employees. Contingent labor represents an affordable, always-available talent stream that organizations can turn on and off as needed.
  2. Answering an immediate need. Retraining employees takes time that companies often can’t afford to waste. Independent contractors are often hired for tasks specific to their skill set, which makes for out-of-the-box readiness. Even permanent employees tend to be slower to onboard than contractors, who are conditioned over time to hit the ground running at any new gig.
  3. Expanding the talent pool. The labor shortage is only part of the difficulty for companies seeking to acquire new skills. The growing popularity of contracting means more talent may be gravitating away from permanent work. Any organization that doesn’t remain open to hiring independent contractors limits its access to specialized expertise. Leave no stone unturned in your talent search.

Best Practices for Hiring Contractors

When developing your independent contractor strategy, start by identifying any task-specific demands that are beyond the expertise of your current permanent staff. This could be, say, a digital transformation or tax audit for a company that specializes in neither services. Often, staffing for these fixed-term, specialized projects calls for contractor help.

Next, weigh the short- and mid-term needs of your organization or department, and consider what portion of that workflow can and should be fulfilled by your permanent labor force. Are there seasonal or cyclical – but somewhat regular – fluctuations in your company’s production demands? Or perhaps the ebb and flow of business is beyond predictability. An in-house network that can be tapped to access trusted seasonal or on-retainer contingent laborers can help. A hiring manager may even set up recurring annual or periodic terms to lock in the best contractors.

But for unanticipated business demands, many companies greatly benefit from working with a third-party talent cloud. PeopleCaddie can not only connect your organization with high-quality contractors who have the specialized expertise you seek, but also handle the administrative duties tied to those workers and help you build and maintain a viable independent contractor strategy that flexes with your business.

Get started and reach out to a PeopleCaddie representative to discuss your contingent labor needs today.

sgruenNavigating Quiet Hiring

Banking Sector Layoffs May Drive Need for Contingent Labor

The boom of the job market may finally be going bust. As inflation, ongoing supply chain issues and a volatile overall economy have put the squeeze on industries everywhere, more businesses have been forced to trim their workforce – almost 30,000 jobs in September (an increase of 46 percent from August), according to one analysisAmong the sectors hit hardest has been banking, as a period of growth, salary increases and generous bonuses has recently been followed by banks tightening their belts including strategically trimming executive salaries. As such we could see banking sector layoffs in 2023.

Now, firms like Goldman Sachs are reportedly laying off mid-level bankers in high-profile divisions, which some see as a barometer for the flagging health of the job economy in the industry.

Yet even as banks dial back in response, they must also react to new opportunities and the changing landscapes of their existing ones in order to properly position themselves to move forward. That could mean bringing specialized teams and talent on board to handle short-term projects, or creating entirely new groups that can’t be fully staffed by moving around current employees. Even during lean times and amid rounds of layoffs, many banks will be driven to tap into the contingent labor market.

Why Banks Need Contingent Labor Even Now

One survey comparing priority issues in the banking sector found that cybersecurity was the top concern (26 percent) among respondents, followed by regulatory change (14 percent) and digital transformation (13 percent) as third- and fourth-highest. What do these elements have in common? They are tied to regulatory changes that are soon due to take effect – changes that will be difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish with banks’ existing staff alone.

Issues such as compliance related to data privacy are make-or-break for banks of all sizes and growth expectations, and many of those organizations lack the in-house expertise, specialized skill sets, or sheer manpower needed to efficiently and effectively respond to these orders. Regardless of the current economic challenges facing the industry, especially with potential banking sector layoffs on the horizon, a significant number of banks will need to lean on outside help – including consultants and contingent labor – to meet their priority goals and compliance requirements.

Optimizing a Contingent Workforce

Every bank has an individualized set of circumstances that requires a different deployment of labor than another – a strategy may need to be adjusted quickly to accommodate new regulatory changes, economic shifts, or business priorities. That’s where contingent labor – and the inherent flexibility it provides banks and other organizations – truly shines.

By building a strategy that includes a balance of staff and contingent labor – which may differ within each line of business or support function – a bank has the ability to fluidly react to specific situations with qualified specialists on short-term or open-ended contracts. PeopleCaddie has the network and platform to help your bank or organization find quality, vetted contractors who don’t require the riskier and more expensive commitment of hiring full-time staff. Reach out to let us help you start building your contingent labor workforce and strategy right away.

Looking to employ a contingent labor strategy? Here is how PeopleCaddie’s talent cloud can help.

sgruenBanking Sector Layoffs May Drive Need for Contingent Labor