Managing Company Expansion Initiatives in The Great Recession: The Benefits of Flexible Staffing

The Great Recession, or so it has been named, has come a long way since the financial sector began crumbling at its rotting foundation back in 2008. Through the implementation of various and sometimes massive stimulus measures by the federal government, some corporations that were facing unstable and uncertain futures have managed to survive and in some cases even thrive. Other companies, some of which had enjoyed tremendous success for decades or longer, were unable to weather the storm and have since been forced to shutter their doors. Needless to say, the business environment has not been easy in the last few years, and for many companies, both large and small, it has been and continues to be an uphill climb. As businesses struggle to survive, thrive, expand, and stay relevant in these times of economic uncertainty many are faced with a sobering challenge: How Do We Continue to Implement Our Initiatives and Move Forward in These Times of Economic Uncertainty and Instability?

This question thats been raised doesnt arrive at an easily defined answer, yet there are some current trends in the business environment that can certainly aid in the endeavor that businesses across the globe are faced with and will likely be continuously faced with for some time into the future. One thing is for certain and that is that shrewd businesses that are determined to come out of this recession on top must make sound and tactical investments in their businesses to avoid stagnation. In the business world today, many companies are fearful of bringing on an optimal human resource level in fear of the economy taking a double dip. However, in todays dynamic world businesses can no longer afford to wait for better times to spark innovation, but rather it must be a continuous cycle which drives the company forward. In order to weather the storm, a growing trend for sophisticated businesses has emerged and become the go to solution. The flexible staffing model, which can provide resources needed to tackle initiatives on a temporary, as-needed, or just-in-time basis, enables businesses to continue trekking through the storm, maintaining staffing flexibility and operating under a robust and agile structure, when hiring new FTEs is just too risky to be a viable option. Below we examine some of the top reasons to consider the benefits of pursuing a flexible staffing model when moving forward on your companys staffing initiatives.


1. Leave it to the Experts:


Lets face it; sourcing top talent is probably not among your core competencies, nor is it an expertise of most employers. Any hiring manager who has ever been tasked with bringing on new talent knows that it can often be a surprisingly daunting task. Challenging, frustrating, and extremely time consuming, the interview process can take several full-time weeks or sometimes even longer, until finding the right fit for your project. In most cases, your time would be better spent focusing on the core responsibilities required of your career. When doing the recruiting process yourself, your real work can start to pile up as you interview one poor-fitting candidate after another; watching the hours roll by as another candidate is escorted out of the building and another resume is reviewed for consideration.

Outsourcing this function and leaving it to the experts can not only give you ample time back, but more importantly, you are likely to end up with better results. Companies offering flexible staffing and augmentation services specialize in this function, have developed advanced recruiting and screening methodologies, and have access to top talent and consultants with true subject matter expertise. Why not consider letting them do the work for you, or at the very least help narrow down the process so you can focus on what your real core responsibilities are?


2. Seamless Transition:


One of the key benefits offered in the use of flexible staffing and augmentation services is in their ability to provide seamless transition of talent onto a project. Companies offering these services usually provide trained subject matter experts with advanced past performance working on similar projects, with the ability to dive right in and start leading teams, programs, or initiatives for the business. The cost savings on training alone in this instance is a huge factor to be considered when evaluating all of the options for leading initiatives in the Great Recession, and should aid in positioning the company in making its way out of the recession on top.


3. Flexible Staffing Model: The Many Risk of Going FTE


Even today many corporations, who initiated mass layoff measures following the onset of the Great Recession, continue to operate well under pre-recession (suboptimal) staffing levels. Unfortunately this is now starting to cause increasing levels of stagnation at companies across many industries. Many businesses that were forced to initiate sweeping downsizing measures are now left understaffed to complete new projects that will bring them forward. Augmenting their staff with creative and flexible models can serve as a solution to provide the capabilities needed to complete programs and initiatives, while remaining flexible as needs change and as projects are completed.


The fear of a double dipping recession has managers fearful of bringing on new full timers, and for good reason. If forced into mass layoffs once again, companies can be forced to pay a big price. For one, it can cause a monetary hit in a number of ways. Companies often have to pay severance package that can be costly and lead to bad press for the eliminating of jobs. This can cause a domino effect in sparking fear in the shareholders, bringing down the stock price and ultimately, as a result, the value of the company.


These models provide flexibility and often enable the employers to contract the consultants and subject matter experts who are augmenting the staff for a period limited to the duration of the projects or initiatives through completion, eliminating wastage and maximizing efficiency, operating with flexibility and significantly limiting risk.


4. Cost Effectiveness.


Perhaps the most recognizable of its benefits, the cost effectiveness of flexible staffing solutions should not go overlooked. In adopting an augmentation model and forgoing the hiring of FTEs, the employer does not pay benefits or any other carrying costs associated with the hiring of full-timers. Additionally, a company adopting this model will save significant time and money being delivered subject matter experts while forgoing training, sourcing and recruiting expenses often present when employers are hiring directly and internally.


5. Conversion Option:


One final benefit of using a flexible staffing solution to weather the storm of the economy is that many companies offering these services will also offer the option to convert a consultant or subject matter expert to a Full Time Employee for a fee. Therefore, using this model can be a smart, safe, and cost effective way to try an employee before you buy them, delivering needed project skills, just in time.


Conclusion


As outlined in this article, adopting a staff augmentation solution for your business is becoming a go to trend in these times of economic uncertainty, and is helping astute businesses weather the storm, enabling them to emerge from the recession on top, leaving behind stagnant former competitors that have since lost relevance in this rapidly evolving world.


About the Author: Ashley Mendelson is the Manager of Business Development for NorthStar Solutions Group, a leading management consulting company in the greater Philadelphia Area, specializing in business technology in the following four core areas: Project/Program Management , Contact Center Solutions, Cyber Security, and Business Intelligence. As an employee of NorthStar, Ashley is engaged in Management Consulting for several Fortune 100 companies who have been thriving in the past few years amidst the recession, in part by implementing strategic flexible staffing solutions like the ones discussed in this article. When asked about the desire to write the article, Ashley describes, Weve been approached by more and more business owners over the last few years that have approached us for staff augmentation support and the trend has been firmly set. Intelligent business owners recognize the need for continued innovation. Operating with a robust staffing model can provide the ultimate solution for moving forward in a time where many companies are being left behind.


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