More than one-third of American workers today are gig workers – defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “a person who does temporary or freelance work, especially an independent contractor engaged on an informal or on-demand basis.”
Companies typically hire independent workers for a limited, defined period to complete a specific or specialized task, paying them by the hour or project.
Some people make a career out of temporary contract work, preferring the variety and freedom of short-term commitments. Others accept gig work while they are between full-time jobs to build skills and avoid career gaps.
Flexibility and variety are among the benefits for the temp worker, but what are the advantages for the companies who hire them?
The Benefits of Hiring Temporary Staff
Hiring gig workers saves money in several ways.
First, employers aren’t responsible for benefits like insurance or vacation. Companies hiring gig workers also avoid managing withholding taxes and retirement plans.
Plus, contract workers generally use their own equipment – no need for dedicated office space or supplies.
Companies with seasonal products or services hire contract staff to get through busy periods, eliminating the expense and paperwork involved in seasonal lay-offs. You hire staff when and for as long as you need them.
Hiring short-term workers also may be helpful during periods of expansion.
“In the early stages of a business, hiring contract employees can be an ideal way to grow,” notes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Companies hire contract employees for a predetermined length of time or for a specific project — after which the employees’ status with the company is reassessed.”
Ease Work for Full-Time Staff
Gig workers can ease the stress and workload of your full-time staff during busy periods. You can delegate the more mundane tasks in your department or organization to contract workers, freeing your permanent staff for more important or in-depth assignments. Conversely, you’re not requiring current staff to tackle tasks that aren’t part of their expertise, notes Global Trade magazine.
Temporary employees also help during staff fluctuations, such as when a team member takes medical or parental leave.
Hire the Right Person for the Job
A survey by Wiley Publishing states that 69% of companies report a skills gap – “a significant disparity between the skills needed to achieve their goals and their workforce’s capabilities.” Consequently, 41% of companies are now turning to contract workers to fill specialized needs.
At a time when hiring full-time workers is challenging, gig workers offer a reasonable alternative. Plus, they often can be hired more quickly.
Some Things to Consider
Working with a freelancer may not be the answer for employers who prefer to manage all the details, notes Indeed. “Contract workers typically operate independently, deciding on their own the best way to complete tasks, what equipment they need and what the timeline will look like.”
Also, since contractors are responsible for paying their own withholding taxes, companies hiring gig workers need to offer competitive compensation.
If you’re ready to learn more about how hiring temporary workers can benefit your company, contact STS Staffing. With more than three decades of experience in staffing placement, we have the expertise to find qualified employees to match the needs of your organization.