Tuesday Perspectives

Embrace the contingent workforce strategy as an essential part of talent planning for 2018

Published: January 9, 2018

It used to be that the word “outsourcing” had a negative connotation. But as companies have changed their business models, outsourcing what is not core to the business made perfect sense. From a staffing perspective, when it comes to Information Technology (IT), many organizations have a hybrid model of in-house teams that is augmented with contingent team members that are on contract.

Let’s look three key reasons why a hybrid team model might work for your organization.

Specific skillset

Nearly nine out of ten IT leaders are reporting skills shortages due to an unpredictable environment. Team members that are contingent or contract employees often bring specific skillsets that in-house team members may not have. Heard of Tandem? Yes, it’s still around. Do you have someone on your team for digital transformation with the newest Open Source technology? Companies find that it is more cost efficient to hire someone on contract instead of hiring a permanent team member with a very specific skillset who may not be needed after a project is over. External team members also often provide fresh insights and perspectives that can improve project results as they will have worked in many other company environments.

Flexibility to ramp up or down

Even with the best planning, unexpected projects or initiatives become priority. In the age of lean everything, IT departments are expected to deliver under the most intense deadlines. This is when having the flexibility of hybrid team members to help ramp up for the unexpected, proves to be extremely beneficial. Core in-house teams can focus on the initiatives that are on-going or mission critical and contract employees/team members can tackle the initiatives that are temporary or that call for specific parts of a project, for example testing.

Cost efficiency

Cost efficiency is tied to almost all business decisions and is a key driver to enhance profitability. With contingent team members, organizations don’t have to add training, benefits, and additional full time salaries to their budgets. As contingent team members work on contract for a specific duration, there is more cost predictability.

Organizations that have contracted employees, realize that it is a cost-efficient way to reduce skills gaps, foster innovation and remain competitive in the ever-changing IT landscape. Additionally, you reduce the liabilities associated with hiring costs related to contingent workers because they are employed by the vendor organization. This provides the flexibility to utilize partner companies for the best candidates that have more expertise and more specialized processes as needed.

If you have not yet adopted a hybrid team model that includes staff augmentation with contingent team members, 2018 should be the year to look at how implementing this strategy could be a fit for your organization. In the end, what matters is that you can achieve cost-effectiveness, control, flexibility and focus with IT staff augmentation. And with the right firm, outsourcing will boost your productivity as well as overcome the challenge from the lack of internal capabilities.

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