top of page

What’s Contingent Staffing?

Contingent staffing, one of the most popular words since the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic, is the practice of employing temporary employees, often known as on-demand labor, to meet your company's current requirements. Then you may match their expertise to situations that demand attention or broaden your organization's reach. Many businesses rely on contingent labor, from catering companies that hire extra cooks to handle huge orders to advertising agencies that use freelance designers to develop graphics.

Flexibility is a major issue for all entrepreneurs. From changing operating hours to product availability, flexibility helps you to cut expenses and become more effective. This is a growing human resource strategy secret for many businesses. As many major corporations have demonstrated, selecting a flexible HR strategy for their business model is an excellent method to avoid business risks. Instead of hiring a large number of workers (and the associated payroll headaches), organizations that use on-demand staffing may work with recognized and trustworthy personnel only for the hours they are needed.

With on-demand employment, the phrase "it takes a village" takes on new meaning, since it entails building and managing a community of individuals interested in the operations and growth of a firm. According to workforce writer Julian Mackie, this flexible work arrangement helps both firms and contingent teams.

Starting with on-demand recruiting might be intimidating, so we've created a guide to help you determine if hiring contingent employees is the right step for your organization and how to make it work.

1. What’s Contingent Staffing?

Contingent staffing is another name for freelancers, independent contractors, consultants, and other outsourced and non-permanent workers who are recruited on a project-by-project basis and are referred to as contingent workers. They have the option of working on-site or remotely. They are not, however, temporary employees, this undervalues the high-value nature and complexity of today’s contingent workforce. Staffing specialties & contingent workforce solutions usually bring high-quality employees to you.

Contingent staffing is about using some outsource services to complete a certain task
Figure 1. Contingent staffing is about using some outsource services to complete a certain task

When compared with traditional employees, a contingent workforce is not paid regularly. They are not entitled to any benefits. Because they work for themselves rather than for a company, they are liable for their taxes. As a result, the corporation is exempt from deducting federal and provincial taxes, as well as CPP and EI.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that working with contractors comes with a cost. They usually operate outside of the company’s management structure. Because they are expected to be extremely proficient in their domains, they receive fewer detailed instructions from supervisors. This also means that the employer has less control over how the contingent worker completes his or her task, the equipment that must be used, and the corporate policies that the employee is responsible for. If these guidelines are not followed, the employer may be held accountable, with the employee asserting that they should be classified as a full-time employee rather than a contractor. As a result, several firms are rethinking their hiring practices.

2. Pros when choosing contingent workforce

2.1. Fewer payroll expenses

You may save money on a set payroll by managing your on-demand personnel. You will also save money on headhunting and temp job agency costs because you will be establishing your network of dependable workers. Because small businesses only require a limited number of employees, the cost of employing a temp job agency might be prohibitively expensive. In other words, if the quantity of people you require is less than what the agency fees cover, handling on-demand employment yourself is the best option.

2.2. Better communication

Because an intermediary has so many different firms fighting for their attention, it's not uncommon for information to go lost. If clear, direct communication is critical for your organization, controlling your on-demand workforce is preferable to using a contingent staffing agency.

2.3. Personal touch

We miss casual conversations around the water cooler in this era of Zoom meetings. Building rapport when recruiting and working remotely is difficult, but it becomes nearly impossible when another mediator is involved. Managing your on-demand workforce helps you to begin creating relationships with your contingent workers from the outset, while also making feedback easier and faster.

2.4. Payment Transparency

Make certain that your budget covers actual work rather than simply administrative costs. Contingent staffing firms may charge both businesses and freelancers. Managing your on-demand personnel (basically, running your staffing agency) allows you to avoid both costs and invest that additional money in paying more to your freelancers or commissioning more paid hours.

Payment transparency with Contingent Staffing
Figure 2. Payment transparency with Contingent Staffing

2.5. Network building

Community-led development is critical for businesses operating in volatile or seasonal industries. Begin small, start today, and establish your freelancing community through on-demand staffing. A network of helpful relationships ensures that you can obtain talents (and even full-time staff!) whenever you need them.

2.6. Control of results

With an on-demand workforce, you can't resist systemizing procedures and outcomes. Your managers will be guided by on-demand staffing to create genuine processes and cease being ambiguous. It may be difficult at first to standardize how employees complete activities and how they get feedback. However, once in operation, you will appreciate the low maintenance of a self-sustaining system. The way most restaurants operate nowadays is an example of this, with shifts and jobs filled from a pool of staff who are familiar with the facilities. With frequent training and updates for the entire family, the restaurant maintains the appropriate service level regardless of who is working at the time.

2.7. Human resource and communication customization

Customizing the way work is handled as part of forming your on-demand staff. Do you require additional checkpoints? Include them in your work description! Do you require competent staff for a project? Only individuals with that talent should be notified! Do you require further help? Increase the number of workers assigned to a single job! This degree of personalization may not be possible if you use a temp agency, or it may cost you to pay additional expenses.

2.8. Instant results

When working with agencies, it is fairly unusual to have to wait for staff placement. When time is limited and the need for additional assistance arises at the last minute, having your team of on-demand employees to support your day-to-day operations is far more feasible. Reaching out to your network of temporary workers and freelancers allows you to respond to emergencies faster and locate an extra pair of trustworthy hands in hours if not minutes.

3. Cons when choosing contingent workforce

3.1. Time-consuming

For a small business owner who is active in many aspects of the firm, managing an on-demand crew might be a lot of effort. After all, days only have 24 hours! With an on-demand crew, the volume of payroll, feedback, and general management activities grows significantly. Businesses with a dedicated HR manager should have fewer difficulties shifting to a contingent workforce since they have the competence to deal with people management details.

3.2. Need to screen applicants

Screening new candidates will become necessary if your contact network is too limited to generate an on-demand talent pool. This will need promoting an open call for freelancers and then screening those who are a good fit for your contingent worker group. Finding real talent can be like looking for a needle in a haystack at times, so be patient until your on-demand staff is large enough to quit recruiting.

Screening process
Figure 3. Screening process

3.3. Payroll woes

Payroll may be a nightmare for managers who are unfamiliar with flexible staff. Every month will be different, whether you're seeking invoices or paying taxes because the volume of hours and jobs will vary from week to week. To minimize payroll blunders, maintain track of each freelancer's work and make sure to agree on compensation terms from the outset.

3.4. Lack of knowledge

No excuses, anybody in charge of an on-demand workforce must be informed of the employment standards governing flexible workers. This can be difficult because regulations have been continually changing in recent years. It is important to contact specialists to assist you in resolving the legal problems of an on-demand workforce and creating contracts that can be reused for a range of activities.

3.5. Depending too much on independent workers

Having a trusted team of freelancers may cause you to be hesitant to try someone new. Sticking to a few close partners is a safe bet, but it leaves the company vulnerable and reliant on one individual. Expand your network with new freelancers regularly to avoid relying on the availability of a single worker.

3.6. People skills are needed

Most business owners are not expert recruiters, and they may find the effort of assembling an on-demand workforce unpleasant. Communication and collaboration with different individuals require flexibility and people skills that not everyone possesses. If this is the situation for you, try delegating people management chores to someone with HR expertise so you can focus on your strengths.

4. What do you need to consider before deciding to work with contingent staffing?

Yes, every decision has a good and bad side. One of the disadvantages of hiring a contingent staff is the lack of control on the part of the business owners. They cannot rely on contingent workers to be available during specified hours to meet company demands, and they cannot control how the work is completed.

Things to know before using a contingent workforce
Figure 4. Things to know before using a contingent workforce

Furthermore, hiring contingent labor entails a bevy of tax implications. If a business owner designates someone as an independent worker when he should be categorized as an employee, the company may face fines and penalties in addition to having to pay the employee’s taxes.


Companies are increasingly taking advantage of contingent staffing by incorporating a growing number of non-permanent workers into their growth strategies. However, the benefits come with drawbacks, which must be addressed. So, that’s the role of staffing specialties & contingent workforce solutions.

Source: Internet

Get top-notch Staffing and Payroll solutions from TSC in Asia. Our services, including Staffing and Payroll Outsourcing, BPO/RPO, and BOT model, enable businesses of all sizes to hire and operate cost-effectively. Since 2018, our recruitment team has provided candidates in diverse fields catering to specific client needs, from junior to management positions.


bottom of page