Concept of Alternate Staffing As companies
strive to find new and thoughtful ways to manage costs in their organization
alternative staffing is a concept that has taken hold with many companies over
the last several years. Alternative staffing refers to hiring individuals on a
part-time or as needed basis, typically under short term contract and for
specific services as opposed to full-time personnel.
Alternative staffing strategies are defined as
employer-employee relationships that depart from traditional, full-time,
long-term, in-house employment arrangements. While alternative methods are not
new, they are becoming increasingly popular because of the advantages they hold
for both employees and employers. Alternative staffing methods allow employers
the flexibility to respond to fluctuations in the business climate while
protecting the job security and morale of their regular, full-time work force.
Industry insiders in the staffing business world over have noticed
a profound change in the way some of the best and brightest scientists,
engineers, and technical staff are finding their next jobs. Many scientists are
giving up full-time, permanent positions to venture out on their own as free
agents. David W. Green, editor of Managing
the Modern Labouratory, cites research showing that science
professionals have discovered that contract positions afford them the freedom
and flexibility to move their career ahead at their own pace. Working as free
agents allows them to build skills in areas important to them and work with the
employers where they think can do the best work. As an added benefit, the free
agent lifestyle allows employees a better balance in their work and personal
In a market upswing the labour
market can become tight and finding qualified alternative staffing can become
difficult. This can leave a company unable to find the resources they need to
meet their commitments or objectives.
Turnover can be higher
with alternative staffing, companies are not incredibly loyal to these
individuals and the individuals are the same. If a better offer comes up for a
temporary staff they can disappear quickly and the company is stuck having to
look for new staff with short notice.
Employees have very
little job security in alternative staffing solutions and can quickly find
themselves looking for new work. In a market downturn when the labour pool is
plentiful it can be difficult to replace a lost job.
Employees have to cover
things like medical insurance themselves in many alternative staffing
situations; as such they can find their overall costs increasing significantly.
Criticism’s of Alternative Staffing
employee organizations, i.e. unions, are heavily critical of alternative
staffing as they see it as companies simply trying to cut costs at the expense
of employees. This is true in some cases, particularly with companies that
employee less skilled labour.
For those in the skilled professional trades
there is less criticism as many lawyers, accountants, and finance specialists
greatly appreciate the flexibility and time freed up by working in alternative
staffing environments. These people are higher earners, however, so they can
afford working limited hours more than someone working at close to minimum
So Is Alternative Staffing a Good Fit For Me?
and individuals need to carefully weigh the benefits and risks outlined above
in determining if an alternative staffing solution is something they want to
pursue. For some this is a great fit while for others the risks may not be
something they can tolerate or absorb.
ANGALORE: IBM is the biggest spender on IT contract
workforce hiring in India, and the spend is almost double that of the next
biggest spenders. The New York-based technology company spends over $150
million annually to hire contract IT staff, which as per estimates translates
to more than 15% of its overall workforce.
Accenture, Microsoft and Cisco spend over $80 million each on maintaining