How Flexible Staffing Is Like the NFL

9.2.15 By Rick McKay


The challenge of aligning organizational head count to budget has become something of an art form. Companies are required to consider retention, business demand changes, performance increases, and the continued retooling required of leading their organization. Imagine if companies could adopt the National Football League’s “practice squad” approach to keeping players around to train, be available and practice with the team but at a greatly reduced salary. Perhaps the closest thing to the practice squad in corporate America is the intern program, but the lack of experience offsets the full potential of intern usage.

Companies have often cycled through organizational challenges tied to growth, followed inevitably by reductions in force. The challenges of this cycle include recruiting, training and retaining employees. Too often this is followed by the frustrations associated with economic downturns, product obsolescence and sales falloff—which means staff reductions of those experienced and talented employees.

Thankfully, there is a better way:  flexible staffing. The evolution of outsourcing and reliance on partners to offload staffing requirements has provided a welcome relief to organizations in high growth where delivery must keep pace with demand. As this flexible staffing approach matures, organizations are increasingly protecting their best and brightest resources. The ability to more effectively retain and nurture in-house experts allows companies to increase focus and training on the core competencies paramount to the company’s mission.

Today's elastic staffing model allows companies to right-size a core organization with the key skills needed to withstand the inevitable ebb and flow of business demand. With this type of staffing model in place, an organization can better utilize in-house resources to maximize the productivity of outsource providers. The end result is an improved ability to balance cost with budget, and minimize the wasteful corporate rollercoaster of hiring surges and staff reductions.

From the provider's side of the equation, this new staffing model enhances the service provider’s efficiency of moving staff between customers, thus implementing their own flexible staffing across accounts. Moving the responsibility of staffing demand from an internal organization to an external service provider allows each company to focus on their core competency. Providers are in the business of providing resources, trained and ready to be productive. All companies are in the business to maximize their products and offerings for business results. The flexible staffing model applies to all companies looking for continuous improvement to resource utilization and productivity. A flexible staffing model should be the goal of every corporation today.

See how we enabled a Fortune 20 organization to focus on their core competencies by using 4th Source as a part of their flexible staffing model.

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