Hiring Contingent Workers: Signs Your Business is Ready

Hiring contingent workers has become increasingly commonplace across Australia’s corporate landscape. Most industries have recognised the value of these workers. And especially during uncertain economic times such as a global pandemic, the benefits of contingent workers are being sought by more and more companies.

For the organisations who haven’t yet discovered the value of contingent workers, it’s likely a matter of time. In our experience, there will be signs that the time is right – signs that are hard to ignore! So today, I’ve outlined the typical circumstances that arise, when a business finally decides to take the plunge.

Hiring contingent workers… here are the warning signs that your business is ready.

hiring contingent workers

1 You’re Having Problems Scaling

No matter what industry you’re in, there will be times of varying demand. Organic growth, seasonal upscaling and downscaling, new products launching, a drop in demand. All these scenarios call for a change in headcount.

And to shift headcount with employees, you need lots of time, and typically lots of cash.

But by hiring contingent workers instead, you can respond quickly and effectively to market fluctuations. Your business can attract highly talented, specialist skills as needed. And fast.

Of course, you must have a strategic contingent workforce management plan in place to optimise the hiring of contingent workers. Read more about that here.

advantages of hiring contingent workers

2 Your Recruitment Costs are Blowing Out

When you find you’re spending way too much on your talent providers and other recruitment costs, it might be time to reassess.

One of the biggest business costs is recruitment. And that’s not just the cost of your talent provider. There are also the advertising costs, and the time taken to screen and reference check candidates. There’s the lost productivity, of having a role vacant. And there’s the inability to scale because you simply don’t have enough hands on-deck.

By transitioning to a project-based working model, you’ll be able to boost your productivity, with little to no lost or wasted time.

Since highly-skilled non-employee labour is such a critical pipeline for talent within the organisation (including full-time conversions), including it in workforce planning at the highest levels is critical.

Source: Forbes

contingent workforce management

3 You Are Lacking Key Skills

If you’re looking for highly specialised expertise, but you don’t need (or can’t afford) that skill permanently in your business, hiring contingent workers is the solution. Even if it’s a skill you call for consistently, a contingent workforce management plan will offer your business flexibility, continuity and growth.

Despite the pandemic, there are still skills shortages across several industries and job families in Australia. ABS data covering business conditions for June 2021 found 27% of Australian organisations are having difficulty finding suitable staff to fill jobs. See the diagram below.

Hiring contingent workers

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

If your company is lacking key skills, shifting your focus to hiring contingent workers will help plug those gaps. The accessibility of career contractors means your business doesn’t have to wait in line with your competitors, for the right full-time employee to become available.


The benefits of hiring contingent workers can mean the difference between remaining competitive or declining as a notable operative in your industry. Changing your workforce management and hiring approach takes time. But with the right partner (like CXC), this transition will be worth it – and you’ll see the positive hit to your bottom line.

If you would like to discuss hiring contingent workers or the management of your current workforce, you can reach me here. I look forward to speaking with you.