How to get the greatest financial benefit from your contingent workforce

Wooden jigsaw puzzle with text TEMPORARY and PERMANENT
Smart organizations strategically use contingent workers to fill skills gaps.
Getty Images

Good morning!

While some companies are slashing temporary workers to cut costs, others are snapping them up to fill talent gaps in an uncertain economy. But when companies fail to adequately groom and incorporate temporary workers into the existing culture, it can leave contingent staffers feeling disillusioned or disposable.

recent report from HR consulting and staffing firm Kelly offers insights on best leveraging contingent workers alongside permanent employees, especially as companies’ business and skills needs change.

Here are the top three recommendations for employers looking to utilize temporary workers more smartly:

1. Be strategic

Identify your talent gaps, shortages, and areas of reduced productivity to develop an integrated strategy that incorporates both permanent and temporary employees working side-by-side. This approach allows leaders to better understand which areas need to be staffed permanently and how these roles should transform.

Leaders who get the most out of temporary workers treat them as more than a “stopgap solution” to solve temporary staffing issues. Instead, the most successful employers strategically harness contingent talent to grow existing and new functions. When done right, they “scale their capability while enriching their existing workforce,” according to Kelly. 

2. Use contingent workers to help train talent

Leaders should consider how contingent talent can help permanent employees gain new skills. Recruiting temporary workers “can support specific business goals, such as driving new product innovation and strengthening diversity and inclusion,” according to the report. 

In addition to instituting robust learning and development opportunities for permanent employees, hiring temporary workers who can train and model new skills can help an organization better upskill. 

3. Treat them like permanent talent

Even among temporary talent, engagement is key. Treating contingent employees as fully-embraced and valued contributors is imperative to getting the most out of the employment relationship. “Critically, you should see contingent talent as having the same strategic importance as permanent talent,” write the report’s authors. 

As with permanent employees, engaging temporary workers boosts motivation and helps organizations achieve the efficiency and innovation they seek. 

Amber Burton

Reporter's Notebook

The most compelling data, quotes, and insights from the field.

Recruiters beware: The new 30-second elevator pitch is coming in through direct messages on social media. Namely, Linkedin. 

“50% of workers surveyed in April 2023 said they have used the platform to connect with a professional in their field that they otherwise wouldn’t have had access to, with 44% saying networking now takes place online more often than it does physically,” writes Fortune’s Eleanor Pringle. 

Around the Table

A round-up of the most important HR headlines, studies, podcasts, and long-reads.

- Some diversity consultants advise clients to reframe DEI as “diversity and belonging.” It's a small but mighty pivot. New York Times

- Hot-desking has nearly doubled since 2020, according to architecture firm Gensler. Wall Street Journal

- Washington State has the highest concentration of tech workers and ranks first in job postings in emerging tech fields like A.I. and blockchain. Seattle Times

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill that bans public universities from spending state or federal funds on diversity programs. CNN

- Adults who experience discrimination at work can be up to 54% more likely to develop hypertension. Washington Post


Everything you need to know from Fortune

Dear Hiring Manager. Fortune’s Chloe Berger wrote a cover letter using ChatGPT. Some career advisers couldn’t tell, and others simply didn’t care. —Chloe Berger

Opening up. A Google executive struggling with depression was so open about his mental health struggles that the company incorporated his story into its leadership training. —Morra Aarons-Mele

Under the influence. Return-to-office mandates could make it more difficult for people with substance abuse problems to hide their addictions from coworkers. —Arianne Cohen

The God Pod. Exxon’s decision to consolidate office space means it’s getting rid of its “Versailles-ian” executive suite known as the God Pod. —Chloe Berger 

This is the web version of CHRO Daily, a newsletter focusing on helping HR executives navigate the needs of the workplace. Today’s edition was curated by Paolo Confino. Sign up to get it delivered free to your inbox.

Read More

CEO DailyCFO DailyBroadsheetData SheetTerm Sheet