What is Contingent Staff?

Definition and examples of Contingent Staff
By Abhishek Kathpal Updated 16 August, 2022

Businesses often use contingent staff when they need extra staff for a short period or when they want to avoid the costs and hassle of hiring full-time employees. Contingent staff can be used in various roles, such as administrative assistants, customer service reps, and even executives.

What is Contingent Staff

Contingent Staff meaning and definition

Contingent Staff is an employment relationship that is temporary and has limited job security. It is mostly based on getting paid for work done. Contingent workers are also known as consultants, freelancers, independent contractors and temporary workers.

Freelancers are cheaper and easier to hire than full-time employees, and businesses can terminate their services without any notice or penalty.

They are often used in place of permanent staff when there is a need for extra human resources or when the company is downsizing. In addition, they can be hired for short-term projects or long-term assignments.

Contingent staff are typically paid by the hour and do not receive benefits such as health care or retirement savings plans. They also do not receive job security and can be laid off without prior notice.

Difference between Contingent Staff and Contract Workers

Contingent workers are mostly freelancers who are not employees of a company, e.g. freelance writers and editors that provide services when needed. Contractual Workers are employees that are hired with guidelines that could be written or unwritten. They are common-law employees. Their type of employment allows the employee or employer to terminate the work at any time without any cause. As long as employees meet the rules in their "contract", work continues. Violations of the contract may lead to disciplinary action or termination of appointment.

How Can Contingent Staff Benefit Your Company

The Covid-19 pandemic led to a surge in the popularity of contingent staff as companies struggled to cope with the sudden loss of employees. They had to turn to temporary staff to fill the gaps.

Furthermore, contingent staff can be a great solution for companies in times of crisis. They are a cost-effective way to increase staffing levels without hiring permanent employees. They are also a great way to test new employees before making them permanent.

Contingent staff can also benefit companies in other ways. For example, they can help to reduce costs by outsourcing non-core functions, and they can help to improve productivity by freeing up permanent employees to focus on more important tasks.

What Are the Risks of Contingent Staff

While contingent staff use has some definite benefits, several risks should be considered.

First, it's important to remember that most companies are still not comprised mainly of contingent staff. Using a contingent workforce as your main source of labour can be risky, as it can be difficult to maintain a consistent level of quality and productivity when your workforce is constantly changing.

Second, contingent staff can be more expensive than traditional employees, especially if you need to hire them on a short-term basis.

Thirdly, Employers do not have control over contingent workers as they manage themselves. Therefore, as an employer, you can't set working hours for them.Finally, the company only has monetary control over the worker.

How Do You Manage Contingent Staff

There are a few things that you can do to manage contingent staff effectively.

  1. Be clear on what you expect from them. Make sure they understand your expectations and the standards that you expect them to meet.

  2. Provide adequate training. They need to be familiar with your company's policies and procedures and the tools and systems they will use.

  3. Develop a good working relationship with them. Contingent staff can be a great asset to your company, but only if you work together effectively.

  4. Keep track of performance. Make sure they meet your expectations and do the job they were hired to do.

  5. Be flexible. Things change, and sometimes you may need to adjust your plans to accommodate the needs of your contingent staff.

What Are the Best Practices for Contingent Staff

Some healthy practices can help you maintain your contingent staff. These include:

  1. Ensuring that the contingent staff are properly screened and vetted. You don't want to put your company at risk by hiring someone who is not qualified or has a criminal record.

  2. Creating a good working relationship with your contingent staff. It is important to make sure they feel valued and appreciated.

  3. Provide adequate training for your contingent staff. They should be familiar with your company's policies, procedures, and products or services.

  4. Keep an eye on your contingent staff. Make sure they meet your expectations; if not, take corrective action. Otherwise, you'll end up with a lot of incomplete jobs, lagging employees and the like.

  5. Using a form of contract or, at least, stating rules will help keep things in place between you and your contingent Staff.

About the Author

Abhishek Kathpal

Abhi is the co-founder at Longlist.io. Funded by US based OnDeck, Longlist is currently enabling 50+ businesses to increase their candidate and client reach outs, automating the workflow across stages.

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