Temp workers, contractors, and on-call people are all examples of flexible staffing. A working definition of flexible staffing are those workers who are not employed full time with a company. Flexible staffing employees are usually hired through a third party staffing agency and usually work on a temporary basis. Flexible staff know they don't have a long term job while full time employees know they have a job the next day. Flexible staff may work one day and stop the next. These workers typically don't receive any benefits such as health insurance or paid time off. It's perfectly okay for one of these workers to work just one or a few days at a particular company. For example, a substitute teacher often works just one day at a time when a teacher falls ill for a day. Or a substitute teacher may work for weeks while a teacher takes an extended leave of absence such as for maternity leave.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Flexible Staffing
The benefits of flexible staffing are that they don't need benefits paid to them and they can work for only the time that is needed. Companies can hire them only during their busy times or whenever they need them. Service companies may give all their jobs to flexible staffing. Because no benefits need to be paid, it saves the company money. Also, companies don't need to worry about paying taxes to flexible staffing. Contractors typically handle all their taxes themselves. Another benefit is that once the job is over, it's easy to let flexible staff go. Also, if your company doesn't have a specialist in some area but need to have a question answered, you can hire a specialist for just a day to help you.
The drawbacks to flexible staffing are that you have to train each one about how your business runs and you have to continuously find flexible staff that can do the work you need them to. If your business is seasonal, then each season, you'll need to find a group of flexible staffing to handle the extra workload and to train them on how you do business. For example, a department store hiring more flexible staff for the busy holiday season has to spend time finding additional people and then to train them on how their store operates. They have to educate this new group of people about pricing and how to help people around the store.
Recruitment is when companies hire full time employees. Full time employees are those hired directly by the company and are usually there to stay. Full time employees typically work between 30 and 40 hours a week and sometimes even over. Benefits and time paid off for vacations are also given to recruitment employees. These employees typically remain with the company for a long period of time. Some employees have worked for the same company for 20 years. For example, an insurance agent may work for the same insurance company for years and years with a loyal customer following. These customers trust that this insurance agent will continue working and providing them the service they need.