Best Staffing Agencies

Top Alternatives Staffing Solutions

Learn about the top alternatives to traditional staffing strategies that you can use for your hiring
February 2021 — 11 min read

Traditional staffing includes standard hiring procedures, such as in-office interviews, paper applications, and offers of full-time employment with benefits. This effective strategy has been proven successful for decades and is instrumental when employers recognize staff bandwidth is frequently focused on critical work duties that distract from other crucial operations. But while traditional staffing benefits businesses that struggle to satisfy recurring roles, other companies have begun to prefer alternative staffing strategies when their workflow—or budget—does not warrant full-time hires.

What is Alternative Staffing?

Alternative staffing includes independent contracting, part-time work, seasonal work, gig work (really popular for IT staffing), and more. Alternative staffing has grown steadily since the 1990s and is especially popular now as businesses anticipate utilizing digital technologies and remote work. Why? This method provides undeniable benefits to employers and workers. Companies gain flexibility and greater access to staff while employers cut costs, boost productivity, and tap into distributed and on-demand networks—especially now during the pandemic.

Precisely why it’s no surprise 65% of employers consider using alternative staffing organizations in the future. Plus, with the growth of innovative technologies and companies being able to easily connect with clients, you can see why alternative staffing can make businesses more cost-effective and efficient.

How Alternative Staffing Solutions Revolutionize Hiring

Did you know fifty-seven million independent professionals sought new opportunities this past year? In some regions of the country, alternative staffing solutions are not just a perk; they’re a necessity for employers. It’s become essential when traditional means become restricted.

Remember, the traditional hiring process is incredibly tedious. For candidates, the average amount of time from applying to receiving an offer takes around 23 days. For hiring managers responsible for managing the applications, the process is even longer. Multiply this entire process by the number of positions you need to be filled in a fiscal year.

If it takes longer than a month to send an offer to a qualified candidate, how much time does a hiring manager need to find the perfect hire? On top of that, the average cost for a new hire ranges from $1,000 to as high as $5,000! This is not a worthwhile investment when companies need to be faster at getting tasks done.

Top Alternative Staffing Solutions

On-demand hiring solutions employ social media and other digital strategies to allow businesses to build direct and cost-effective connections with a global network of professionals. These are skilled, proven, and experienced specialists who have embraced a life of remote work and are available on-demand. This innovative recruitment strategy enables organizations to streamline hiring methods.

Additionally, vetting remote hires can be completed in one business day instead of traditional practices that take an average of up to five. Alternative staffing solutions cut costly fee structures from your budget, allowing you to allocate more money towards working expenditures.

Are you interested in alternative staffing solutions but have no clue where to find potential candidates? Adopting digital staffing strategies is on the rise, with Ardent Partners announcing a 300% three-year growth rate in adapted use. But with more than 20,000 staffing agencies in the United States, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Here are our favorite alternative staffing solutions.

Social Media

25% of all job seekers use social recruiting to pinpoint their next career opportunities. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, or LinkedIn, find a range of skilled professionals who are easy to contact. Use this solution to target tech-savvy experts, who tend to know how to utilize social media more than others—precisely why this outlet is a source to find top-level candidates.

Additionally, social media recruiting through employee referrals allows companies to tap into brand new talent markets. Plenty of businesses already employ social recruiting, with 9-10 brands using some manner of social media to source, attract, and engage their recruits.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI has become so prominent in hiring that Forbes ran an article titled How AI is Changing The Game For Recruiting. This article acknowledges recruitment as one of the most challenging jobs modern businesses face. AI helps alleviate a significant proportion of the hiring work. Here are three of the most effective options.

  • Chatbots: Secure candidates and direct them to roles using chatbots. They’re a reactive way to save time and sift through talent pools.
  • Sentiment analysis: Use this to adjust job specs in the event of biased or off-putting language.
  • Talent rediscovery: With an applicant tracking system, AI scans your data records and finds candidates for your bill.

Virtual Reality

VR is a revolutionary hiring prospect. Some industries have VR headsets designed to engage with candidates more than ever before. Utilizing VR displays, your business is an innovator. It sends out positive messages, even if it’s timely and expensive to integrate into your recruitment strategy. How could your business integrate virtual reality into your hiring strategy? VR allows for unique interpretations for your specific industry.

Virtual Job Fairs

The pandemic changed job fairs forever. Luckily, virtual career fairs are a dynamic solution to help employers break free from traditional hiring events' limitations. By providing a 3D online platform, employers and job seekers can now connect in a virtual setting, mimicking a physical event's feel, but without the restrictive attributes known to be a source of frustration for human resources specialists.

Create a branded digital environment for virtual career fairs and eliminate the need for exhibitors or attendees to invest in expensive travel, reschedule their prior commitments, or lose out on valuable networking opportunities due to distance.

Video Interviews

Whether candidates live 200 miles away or in different countries, the archaic practice of dragging candidates in for interviews is ending. It wastes a significant amount of time and money when almost everyone has access to Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and other forms of digital communication.

Remove less suitable candidates after a brief screening, and then bring in your top selection once you have one or two you’re set on. Video interviews can also significantly increase your candidate pool.

"Passive Candidates"

Passive candidates are talented employees who might not be considering a career change. Targeting them with tempting new possibilities—such as higher pay and title—may gain their interest. This alternative recruitment strategy has risen in recent years, as it helps target talented and successful workers who aren’t jumping from role to role. Just always be respectful to their current employer.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

ATS is on the rise for large and small businesses and is now a recognized recruitment software leader. What are the benefits for employers?

  • Efficiency: Log your hiring candidate information and campaign data all in one system.
  • Candidate data: ATS allows access to a pool of workers for specific roles in the future.
  • Candidate experience: It’s easier on candidates as you can cater to new hiring expectations, such as mobile-based application environments.
  • Admin reduction: Again, do away with filing cabinets and streamline everything through one recruitment hub—no more excess files in your office.

Open-ended job posts

Job descriptions are often altered, which is exactly why some recruiters try tactics, like leaving off job titles. Others even leave off specific specifications. This idea is to encourage a range of candidates.

Previously, it’s been common to choose the most experienced candidate, under the belief that they’re the best option. Yet industry experience doesn’t account for enthusiasm, nor whether an individual naturally fits your business culture. If they’re a fit for your team, training such candidates over six months or longer can reap benefits long-term.

Job auditions/referrals

Are you nervous about new candidates for an important role? A job audition provides additional insights and is an ideal way to stress test candidates or referrals. Entice more candidates to take the audition by offering to pay for the audition.

How to Find the Best Alternative Staffing Solution for You

The U.S. Department of Labor states, “Among the most common reasons employers cite for using nontraditional workers are to accommodate workload fluctuations and to fill positions that are temporarily open due to permanent employees’ short-term absences.” While this is undoubtedly true, locating the ideal freelancers or temporary help can be difficult because many diverse solutions are available.

Ultimately, which solution you utilize depends on multiple factors. Recognizing these components helps the hiring process go much more smoothly.

  • How fast you need a freelancer (i.e., your timeline)

  • Your experience with alternative staffing

  • Your ability to test technical skills

  • The number of team members you need

  • The level of experience you require

  • Your budget limitations

How to Monitor Your Remote Teams

Are you worried building remote teams may cause issues with productivity, the chain of command, and conflict management? It's estimated that by the year 2028, 73% of teams expect to have regular remote workers. An alternative staffing firm can offer innovative team leadership programs for companies wishing to hire a designated independent professional to manage such issues. Easy access to effective remote talent management strategies is also available for managers and leaders who wish to cover this ground themselves.

What do you think? Is alternative staffing superior to traditional and more conventional hiring methods?

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