Flexible staffing

Flexible staffing
See also

Flexible staffing is the answer of the labor market to the changing needs of the employer in order to maximize and optimize the organization, increase efficiency and increase customer satisfaction. The progressive globalization increases the pressure on the company's resources as well as the clients' requirements and their expectations. It required a change of work organization in order to increase its flexibility[1].

Flexible staffing include such a forms of employment as[2][3]:

  • temporary agency workers
  • short-term hires
  • regular part-time workers
  • on-call workers
  • contract workers

Temporary Agency Workers[edit]

All people working in the company but paid for by the employment agency. These people are often employed to replace regular employee who is absent due to holidays or illness. The payroll of the company does not include them[4].

Short-Term Hires[edit]

People hired through by the organization for a fixed-term and working part-time[5].

Regular Part-Time Workers[edit]

According to Mrs. Houseman, such employees can be included "Individuals on the organization’s payroll who work less than a full work week and who are not short-term hires." (2001, s. 149-170).

A large part of employer’s flexible staffing strategy are part-time workers[6].

On-Call Workers[edit]

People who often work “on a call”. These employees are called to work if it's necessary. A large part of company’s workforce are on-call workers[7].

Contract Workers[edit]

"Individuals who are employed by another organization to perform tasks or duties as specifically contracted by the organization. Contract workers may be used for carrying out administrative duties or providing business support such as security, engineering, maintenance, sales, data processing, and food service." That's how describes them Mrs. Houseman (2001, s. 149-170).

Contract workers provide valuable support on a temporary basis[8].

The types of flexible forms of work can be divided into three groups[9]:

  • Forms of employee employment: term contracts, part-time work, temporary work, teleworking, work on call, Job sharing.
  • Forms of non-employment employment: civil law contracts, management contracts
  • Other forms of employment: job rotation, outsourcing, self-employment

Why employers use flexible staffing[edit]

The most common motivations for using flexible staff arrangements are[10][11]:

  • to achieve a better flexibility of the skill mix and amount in labor inputs.
  • to economize on the costs of compensation.
  • to attain specialized services and abilities which are unavailable in the company.
  • to defence regular workers against unemployment while the employer's demand for work reduced provisionally.
  • to recruit personnel with special skills.
  • to substitute temporarily for workers who are absent.
  • to reduce the workload of employees.
  • to adjust workers’ wishes for a more responsiveness working schedule.

To encourage companies to use certain flexible staffing, labor unions more often raise the wages[12].

Advantages and disadvantages of flexible staffing practices[edit]

Ms. Houseman in her article states that "By using flexible staffing arrangements, employers may restrict benefits to certain groups without losing preferential tax status of their benefit plans." (2001, s. 149-170).

The disadvantage can be given by the fact that regular employees receive a higher salary and get more benefits than flexible staffing[13].

In addition to minimizing costs, companies also can use FSA for other reasons, for example, firms may employ people who work in temporary help agencies or on-call workers when full-time employees are absent due to illness or holiday and to accommodate staffing levels and even prevent workers from getting their maximum workload[14].


The conclusion is clear: using these forms is becoming more and more common.

Many entrepreneurs believe that flexible forms of employment can bring benefits to them at the same time with slight adverse effects on employees.

A significant amount of employers are convinced that the use of these practical will increase in the near future[15].



  1. Brett R. F. (2007)
  2. Houseman S. N. (2001)
  3. Houseman S. N., Polivka A. E. (2000)
  4. Houseman S. N. (2001)
  5. Houseman S. N. (2001)
  6. Houseman S. N. (2001)
  7. Houseman S. N. (2001)
  8. Gramm C. L., Schnell J. F. (2001)
  9. Gramm C. L., Schnell J. F. (2001)
  10. Houseman S. N. (2001)
  11. Houseman S. N., Polivka A. E. (2000)
  12. Abraham K. G. (1988)
  13. Houseman S. N. (2001)
  14. Abraham K. G. (1988)
  15. Houseman S. N., Polivka A. E. (2000)

Author: Daria Ziętara