Pros and cons of contingent staffing

What is contingent staffing

Contingent staffing means hiring workers on a temporary or flexible basis. Contingent workers usually address short-term projects, seasonal demand, or temporary gaps in staffing.

Contingent staff can include temporary employees, contractors, freelancers, consultants, or part-time workers. They are sometimes engaged through staffing agencies or managed service providers. But it’s not uncommon for a company to source contingent workforce directly.

Organizations seek for contingent workers when they require specialized skills, expertise, or additional resources for a specific duration. If this kind of needs are frequently recurring, it may make sense to manage your own contingent staff.

Pros of in-house contingent staffing

Even lower expenses

Contingent workforce saves you money on a fixed payroll. But sometimes the temp agency fee may be absurd for a small business that only needs a few workers. If you source and manage your own workforce, you will save that money.

Better communication

Details tend to get lost while working with an intermediary. If direct communication is key for your business, managing your own on-demand workforce can be much easier than hiring an agency to manage your workers.

Personal touch

Managing your own on-demand workforce allows you to start building a relationship with your contingent workers from day one. A personal relationship also makes it easier for them to give feedback for their day labor.

Payment transparency

Make sure your budget pays real work and not just admin fees. Staffing agencies sometimes charge both companies and freelancers. Managing your own on-demand staff (essentially, running your own staffing agency) allows you to avoid the fees on both sides.

Faster results

It is not uncommon to have to wait for employee placement when collaborating with agencies. When time is tight, it is much more practical to have your own crew ready to support you. You can respond to crises faster and find an extra pair of trustworthy hands in hours if not minutes.

A strong community

Creating your own community of workers will allow you to create a team of people you trust. Keeping the right people close to your company means building a family that cares. They give reliable results, fit your company culture, and know how to collaborate with you.

Cons of in-house contingent staffing


Managing an on-demand team can be a lot of work. The day is still only 24 hours long for a small business owner. Payroll, feedback, and overall management operations definitely increases in volume with an on-demand team. Businesses with a dedicated HR manager will have it easier when adjusting to contingent workforce.

Need to screen applicants

If your contact network is too small to create an on-demand talent pool, screening new applicants will become a necessity. This will require you to promote an open call for freelancers, and find the right fits for your community. And finding true talent can sometimes be akin to finding a needle in a haystack. Patience will be key until your on-demand team is large enough for you to stop recruiting.

Payroll woes

Payroll can turn into a nightmare for managers not experienced with flexible workers. Whether you’re requesting invoices or paying taxes, every month will be unique. as the volume of hours and jobs will fluctuate from week to week. But even if you implement automated payroll software, you still need a good way keep track of the jobs done by every freelancer and firmly agree on compensation details from the start.

Lack of knowledge

Anyone managing an on-demand workforce needs to be aware of the work regulations regarding flexible workers, no excuses. This can get quite tricky, since regulations have been changing constantly in the last few years. It is best to hire experts to help you clear the legal aspects of an contingent team and create appropriate contracts.

Depending too much on independent workers

Having a team of trusted freelancers may cause you some bias to try someone new. Sticking to a few loyal collaborators is certainly comfortable, but it makes the business vulnerable and dependant on these people. It’s good to expand your community with new freelancers, so you don’t depend on the availability of a single worker.

Must have people skills

Most business owners are not professional recruiters and may find the task of recruiting an on-demand team to be stressful. Communicating and collaborating with multiple people flexibility and people skills not everyone has. You can try to delegate the tasks related to people management to someone with HR skills so you can focus on what you excel at.

How we can help

Zelos Team Management is an easy-to use contingent workforce management solution. Focused on self-signup and live communication, it is the preferred choice of modern team managers. Sign up for a free project today, or get in touch with our team for a personal demo session.