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7 Ways the Contingent Workforce Can Help With Payroll

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Because of today's historically low unemployment rate, job candidates hold most of the cards. If you've tried to recruit recently, you know that it's becoming more and more challenging to find the skilled payroll workers you need. At the same time, your best employees know they have options at other businesses that could possibly pay more, enticing them to jump ship. How can you fill the gap in the meantime?

Try tapping the contingent workforce.

Here are seven ways temporary payroll staffing can help your company grow and thrive:

1. Coverage while recruiting. After a team member leaves the company, you need to find a replacement. But what do you do between now and the time you onboard a new employee – have others pick up the slack? That's one way to deal with hiring challenges, but a better strategy is to bring in a temporary payroll worker. Not only does that minimize the impact on the rest of the team, but it also reduces the rush to fill the gap.

Recruiting new staff on your own can be a time-consuming process in this employment environment. Many weeks can go by before you fill a job vacancy – and the wait is even longer for managerial positions. By working with an interim staffing agency, you can fill the gap by gaining access to its deep pool of candidates in your local market who have been interviewed and evaluated, and are ready to start working right away. The contingent workforce is accustomed to working for different companies and pitching in on a wide range of projects, making it an ideal solution for many accounting, finance and HR departments.

2. Improved flexibility. Temporary payroll staffing isn't just for filling the gap while you're trying to fill a full-time position, though. A business's staffing needs typically ebb and flow, depending on busy and slower periods of the year. Many businesses, particularly smaller ones, can't afford to keep a large number of employees all year round. Hiring interim payroll professionals during peak periods allows you to react quickly to current demands without committing to long-term expenditures. Using the contingent workforce is also an efficient way to deal with employee leaves and last-minute projects. The best staffing agencies maintain a pool of finance specialists ready to start work within a few days or even hours.

3. Cost savings of a contingent workforce. Because temporary payroll staffing allows you to add extra workers without increasing your permanent headcount, you save money. Some contract workers and consultants may cost more per hour than full-time employees, but your business would save money in the long term by not having to pay for benefits and perks or contribute to payroll taxes. You know from the outset exactly how much each interim professional will cost per week; there are no unpleasant surprises.

4. Specialized payroll skills. The payroll field is filled with fast-changing technologies. An agency that focuses on payroll staffing can place workers not only in clerical and administrative positions, but also in jobs that require knowledge of such systems as enterprise resource planning (ERP), cloud platforms and process automation. For projects like data migrations and ERP upgrades, consultants and contractors provide the niche talent you seek – for as long or short as you need their services.

5. Fresh ideas and perspectives. New faces can inject fresh energy and ideas to a team, even on a short-term basis. Having worked for many different organizations, interim workers bring with them a wealth of technical experiences, corporate cultures and points of view – all of which can prove to be helpful when you need to find innovative solutions to payroll problems or revise a workflow for greater efficiency.

6. Improved employee morale. When workload goes up, morale goes down. When there aren't enough hands on deck, the rest of the team has to pick up the slack. Overextended staff can become stressed, disgruntled and burned out – a recipe for high turnover and error rates. A contingent workforce can take the pressure off your full-time employees and help create a happier, more productive workplace.

7. Reduced full-time hiring risks. Finding the right payroll employee can be challenging in the best of times. That's why many companies favor a "temp-to-perm" arrangement. Hiring interim workers gives you the chance to assess their technical abilities, work ethic, interpersonal skills and cultural fit – all in real time and over many weeks rather than a few hours. If they don't work out, they leave at the end of the contract. But if their performance and skill set are impressive, you can feel confident about extending them an offer for a full-time position.

Hiring isn't easy, but the good news is that you don't have to go it alone. Accountemps recruiters are experts at helping companies, both large and small, address their payroll staffing needs. Browse our database of candidates to find the payroll consultant, payroll administrator or payroll analyst who's just right for your organization.


This article was first published on the Robert Half International blog. Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. Accountemps has 300 locations worldwide. More resources, including job search services can be found on the Accountemps website.