How Supplemental Staffing Helps Your Business Stay Agile During Economic Uncertainty

In today’s market, contractors must contend with economic uncertainty on top of the ongoing skilled worker shortage. We identify three ways a core employee staffing model can help.

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Three Reasons to Consider a Core Employee Staffing Model Today

A potential recession is still a hot topic of conversation among economists and analysts. For businesses, this economic uncertainty can make it challenging to adequately plan staffing levels.

If you’re a contractor or subcontractor, the shortage of skilled workers makes the balancing act even more difficult. A recent survey by the Associated General Contractors of America showed that 93% of construction firms had open positions and 91% were having difficulty filling them—especially skilled jobs. If firms are tempted to trim their workforce ahead of a projected downturn, they should proceed carefully as construction positions are hard to fill.

So, what’s the best way to adapt amid today’s economic uncertainty? Each business must consider its project backlog, financial standing and tools at their disposal. One of the most helpful tools we found is the core employee staffing model. With this approach, you keep your best, most critical employees on your payroll while tapping into a skilled trades staffing company, like PeopleReady Skilled Trades, when supplemental staffing is needed.

Here are three reasons to consider a core employee staffing model right now.

  1. Lower Payroll Costs. Closely matching your core staff to workload projections, especially long-term projects, helps reduce excess costs—from federal, state and local payroll expenses to base wages and employer-provided benefits. As Anirban Basu, chief economist for Associated Builders and Contractors, reported, “If contractor leadership is convinced that a downturn is coming, the primary goals are to preserve cash and shore up financial relationships.” The core employee staffing model helps you do just that.
  2. Reduced Risk, Fewer Headaches. A skilled trades staffing partner can also minimize risks and administrative tasks by handling eligibility screening, employment verification, payroll and much more for those hired through a supplemental staffing plan. This leaves more time for engaging your core employees—and building your business. Better yet, your staffing partner should be as concerned with safety as you are and only match you with workers trained and committed to working your projects safely. For example, take a look at all of the safety-specific processes and procedures PeopleReady Skilled Trades has in place for their tradespeople.
  3. Greater Flexibility & Scalability. The right staffing solution can help you ramp your workforce up or down in response to changing workloads and schedules. Whether you need a skilled tradesperson for a day or an entire crew for a new project, a skilled trades staffing partner helps ensure you have the workers you need to deliver projects on budget and on time. Plus, calling on a temporary workforce can improve the work-life balance of your full-time tradespeople. It’s a win-win!

If the benefits of a core employee staffing model have piqued your interest, how can you get started? It may look different for each business, but here’s what we recommend.

Lay out your upcoming projects and determine how many full-time workers you need to meet your highest and lowest workload projections. Then, identify the employees you’d count among your top tradespeople, considering skills in the different trades or specialty services you provide. These are your core employees.

Now, you’ll want to compare your core employees to your workload projections and ask yourself a simple question: Are these numbers in balance, or are you over- or under-staffed?

If you’re understaffed, now might be the time to consider supplemental staffing. And here’s a tip: start searching for a skilled trades staffing partner early. It’s best to plan ahead with your partner so they can ensure you’ll have the workers you need. If you find yourself overstaffed, you might want to consider shifting around project schedules or taking a closer look at your core employees.

If you’re ready to work with a skilled trades staffing expert, we have tips for what to look for in a staffing partner.

Do you need flexible staffing options for your business?

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PeopleReady Skilled Trades is a specialized division of PeopleReady, a TrueBlue company (NYSE: TBI). Since 1987, we have connected tradespeople and work across a wide range of trades, including carpentry, electrical, plumbing, welding, solar installations and more. Whether you need a single tradesperson or require a coordinated effort to dispatch skilled workers across multiple projects, we ensure you have the right people with the right tools, on-site and on time.