Some Reasons To Use Consultants
Today's headlines are filled with reports about large companies laying off thousands of workers. This is especially true in the tech sector where almost daily there is news of massive layoffs.
During the COVID pandemic, many companies had to quickly scale up their operations, partially due to increased online demand (think online shopping, Zoom meetings, etc.) and partially due to the number of employees who decided that their jobs were no longer as important to them as they were pre-pandemic. Not all the news revolves around large scale layoffs however, as an equally large number of manufacturing businesses are hard-pressed to increase their labour force in order to meet increased demand for local products. Whatever the reason, we continue to be in the midst of a significant "right-sizing" of our global workforce.
Hiring and training full-time or even part-time staff can be a long and very expensive process. With so much uncertainty with the global economy, and employees either gun-shy about accepting a new position, or leaving new (and existing) positions for greener pastures, how does a business mitigate their HR risks?
One way that smart businesses can "test the waters", whether it's to see whether they have the correct number of hires in place (layoffs cost the employer money - and sometimes a lot of it), and that the positions that they are trying to fill are truly needed and, most importantly, whether the positions will be required in the longer term. Consumer demand may just as quickly change again, and no one - not the employer or the employee - wants to be in the position of many of the large tech companies are finding themselves in today!
Today's hiring trends also tend to favour hiring younger and "fresh" talent, often overlooking more seasoned employees. The demographic that ranges in age from their late 40's through their late 60's can make excellent consultants for a business without the need to add them to the company payroll. Many consultants that we work with - myself included - are not ready to retire, nor are they looking for full-time 9 to 5 employment, and all the headaches associated with it. Instead, they are looking for consulting gigs throughout many markets, and enjoy passing along their knowledge to younger, less experienced employees and learning some new skills along the way.
More seasoned consultants are also very skilled at working remotely, helping to keep the consultant's costs down and their morale high. Working with consultants - who are paid by the hour, or the project - also brings a strong work ethic so absenteeism and "quiet quitting" are rarely, if ever, a problem.
If you are a business owner, or are employed as an HR professional, and you are unsure about whether or not you really want to fill that position permanently, why not look into hiring a consultant for a test run first? In the long run you will save money and, with the right consulting talent, confirm whether or not the hire is a good choice for your business.