More and more creative in-house agencies are realizing the many advantages of adopting a flexible staffing model. This staffing model—which involves using a mix of full-time employees, contingent workers and consultants—allows creative teams to operate more nimbly and remain adaptable to both outside market changes as well as evolving organizational demands and dynamics.
Flexible staffing enables in-house agencies to better handle unexpected workload spikes as well as recurring cyclical projects requiring specific expertise. Flexible staffing gives teams the ability to access talent that can help elevate their creative work to a higher level, while supporting growth with respect to efficiency, innovation and cost. And in today’s business world where change is truly the only constant, creative teams built for flexibility are also better positioned to make quick pivots by offboarding or onboarding talent with fewer hiccups and headaches.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the primary benefits of partnering with a staffing agency and implementing a flexible staffing model:
REALIZING SIGNIFICANT COST SAVINGS
Arguably the best benefit of a flexible staffing model is the amount of ROI it can deliver to the team and organization. Getting approval to add headcount and then going through the process of hiring full-time employees can take a lot of time, resources and money and limit the team’s ability to quickly address workload spikes or add new services. With a flexible staffing model, you can more speedily access the talent you need without a lengthy recruitment-hiring-onboarding process.
Some staffing agencies such as Cella even prequalify candidates’ functional skills using proprietary assessments, allowing them to quickly identify the right talent—whether that’s one temporary professional with niche UX expertise or a full “surge staffing” group of creatives with a wide range of specialized skills. Agencies can also work with your HR department to pre-onboard talent so that they can hit the ground running when being brought into your organization.
In high-stakes situations, having additional talent readily available (and vetted) is a distinct competitive advantage. The same goes for seasonal work surges. You can efficiently “staff up” during peak demand periods and lower the number of talent you engage (and reduce the associated labor costs) when the workload lightens up.
MEETING GREATER DEMANDS UNDER TIGHTER DEADLINES
Want to say “yes” to more client work? Juggling an array of tight deadlines? You’re not alone. As more companies bring creative work in-house, creative teams can face a staggering number of projects. In fact, 69% of survey respondent said their teams have experienced an increase in work volumes, according to Cella’s 2021 In-House Creative Industry Report. Having the ability to tap additional workers ensures that the deadline for every project is met without sacrificing the quality of your creative deliverables.
FILLING SKILLS GAPS THROUGH FLEXIBLE STAFFING
Even the best creative teams need to bridge gaps in skills at times. Picture this: You have a campaign that will require highly detailed, technical illustrations. There’s just one problem: You don’t have an experienced illustrator on staff. You can’t justify hiring for that role full-time and you can’t afford to pull one of your busy core designers into the role in hopes that they can do the work.
A flexible labor model allows you to hire a talented and experienced illustrator for a set period of time. What traditionally may have been considered a fixed cost can now be a variable cost, resulting in better efficiency and more cost savings for the company. Another big benefit? The new talent you bring aboard will give you (and your team) exposure not just to new skills, but also new ideas and fresh approaches.
GUARDING AGAINST BURNOUT
Is the retention of your permanent employees one of your top concerns today? It should be. Professionals in all sorts of industries, including creative and marketing, are open to exploring greener pastures. Even your most loyal employees could be flight risks if presented with a pitch from a competing company that’s offering them more flexibility and better work-life balance. Bringing in reinforcements doesn’t just help you get an array of work done; it lets your employees stay focused on producing the type of work they do best. And most important, it protects your core team from burnout and excessive stress.
GAINING QUICK ACCESS TO COVERAGE FOR EMPLOYEE LEAVES
Projects can’t come to a halt when a vital employee is suddenly unavailable. While flexible staffing involves far more than merely plugging a staffing hole, having this labor model in place certainly comes in handy when employees go on an extended leave, whether due to family health concerns, a sabbatical or any other reason. When multiple vacations converge or an employee goes on FMLA, a staffing firm can help you fill the temporary need but also evaluate the bigger resource-planning picture.
PILOTING NEW SERVICES
Flexible staffing is a great way to test drive innovative new services. For instance, perhaps, you want to introduce VR as a way of communicating your company’s benefits at industry conferences. It likely doesn’t make good financial sense to hire VR professionals full-time. But you can bring them in on a project basis, which enables you to experiment with new technologies and keep your team relevant. You can essentially cost-effectively dip your toe in the water and still make a splash.
This gives you the ability to experiment with emerging platforms and tools, while also developing a strong case that’s based on real data and the initial lessons learned. It’s an approach that offers minimal risk and a lot of potential rewards.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON FLEXIBLE STAFFING MODELS
Flexible staffing, as the name implies, enables you to flex up or flex down as needed. It gives you the chance to expand your capabilities, protect your core team from being overwhelmed and generally bring more to the table. But you can also leverage this approach to change perceptions. The bottom line is that a flexible staffing model can help you go from “order taker” to “strategic partner” and increase your relevance and value to your company.
Ready to learn more about flexible staffing and how Cella can help ensure your team has the right resources at the right time? Contact us now!