After huddling in our bunkers for much of the past 18 months we look forward to restoring growth and prosperity to our companies. Many firms will find, however, that they are unable to harness the early breezes of expansion due to resource constraints that are a direct result of recent knee-jerk staff reductions.
Peter Cappelli, Wharton management professor and director of the school's Center for Human Resources observed that the recent economic crisis forced many managers to focus only on the short-term. Slaves to quarterly performance expectations, departments cut employees with little concern for the long-term impact of layoffs. In many cases they were forced to sacrifice core competencies resulting in a devastating brain drain.
As an expert on post-recession employment recovery Cappelli knows that it will be some time before hiring begins again in earnest. "Companies will always wait to see that the demand is there because the fixed cost of hiring isn't trivial." Instead companies will use contract/temporary workers to hedge their bets on hiring, rather than committing to paying wages and benefits to permanent, full-time workers.
The use of contract labor to augment one's staff isn't a new concept. In fact prior to the recession it was fairly commonplace in IT, Finance and even Human Resources. Many firms outsourced whole projects or departments to large staffing firms. But this practice was less prevalent in marketing.
Top 5 Reasons to Hire Outside Marketing Expertise Now
If you find yourself short on talent necessary to grow your business consider these benefits of augmenting your existing staff with temporary marketers:
1) No long-term commitment. You can generally hire full- or part-time marketing resources by the hour, week or month without committing to long-term employment. This allows you to cover temporary holes (i.e. maternity leave) or limited workload surges (i.e. a new product launch) without affecting headcount.
2) Scale up or down at will. Flexibility is the biggest benefit of contract marketers. As your needs change so can your temporary workforce whether it be the overall number of contactors you use or the individual skill levels you choose to access.
3) New ideas. New marketers bring a fresh perspective and new ideas. By augmenting your current staff with marketers from other backgrounds and industries you bring new ways of approaching old problems to your organization.
4) Rent-to-Buy Option. In a resource constrained environment hiring the wrong person can be catastrophic. In many cases, hiring a marketer on a short-term contract allows you to test drive them before committing to permanent employment.
5) Saves Time and Money. HR experts say it costs a company a year's salary just to hire a new employee. Depending on the level of the position it can take 2-6 months to land the right candidate. In the meantime, work is falling through the cracks. Contract marketers are generally available to start making contributions within 48 hours with little or no upfront costs.
The final chapters of The Great Recession will be written in the next 12-18 months. Those who boldly embrace the nascent recovery will gain share and thrive in the years to come. Those who continue to cower and wait for better days may be irreparably harmed. But seizing the initiative will take resources, specifically the arms and legs necessary to keep your marketing initiatives on track. Perhaps now is the time to take a new look at securing temporary marketing talent.
If so, check out my new checklist: "How to Choose Interim Marketing Resources That Won't Waste Your Time and Money." Get it now for free at: http://www.imperativesllc.com/newsite/learningcenter/publications.html
Pioneering Marketing Consultant and author of Strategy Activation: How to Turn Your Vision into Marketplace Success Scott Glatstein drives profitable growth by filling clients' existing resource gaps with talented contract marketers. Now check out his free checklist that will help you choose an outside marketing firm that will enable you to achieve higher profits. Get it now at: http://www.imperativesllc.com/newsite/learningcenter/publications.html