How Your Business can Overcome the Cost of Idle Employees

Posted by Enrico on Apr 30, 2017

The bane of any employer is an idle or underutilized workforce. But in many industries it is unavoidable, with seasonal or cyclical declines in workload or contracts. Although these drops in business are short-lived, the cost of inactive employees to businesses globally can reach into the billions each year. And the problem is compounded by organized labor, and labour legislation, seldom making concessions for this.

So employers are faced with two hard choices: accept the cost of keeping staff on during quiet periods, or discharge them, and recruit new employees once the seasonal drop in business ends. Neither is a particularly appealing choice to make, with both impacting negatively on a business's ability to grow. And while many retailers have been able to adapt to working with temporary employees, organizations and professional industries that rely on skilled employees are limited in their ability to use temporary employees.

These businesses are very aware of how difficult it is to find employees with the skills they need, leading to them holding onto skilled employees no matter the cost. Even during an extended lean period. But seasonal or cyclical declines in workloads and contracts do not affect all businesses at the same time. This can result in one business frantically looking for skilled employees, while another business sits with underutilized employees.

The annual Manpower Group Talent Shortage Survey found that 40% of employers worldwide are experiencing difficulties filling vacant positions, up from 38% in 2015. And while some startups are trying to adapt the recruitment process for our digital age, the problem isn't always recruitment. As outlined here, sometimes the problem is simply a matter of availability and productivity.

In an attempt to address both the availability and recruitment of skilled employees, many companies have - in the last years - begun exploring the use of remote workers. But while the use of remote workers does increase the pool of potential employees, it doesn't address the underlying issue. The cost of unproductive employees during quiet periods, or between contracts.

What is needed is a collaborative network for high-quality contracting. A network that allows you to create your own team of qualified consultants to help out on your projects as needed. Or a network that enables you to connect with firms that have the manpower and time to work with you on special projects. This would not only give employers access to reliable, skilled contract workers, but it would give businesses with an underutilized workforce the ability to 'share' their workforce, without the risk of losing any valuable employees.

Jobcombinator offers access to both: you can either connect with one or more consultants, or with qualified firms. Jobcombinator works by matching independent professionals - or an underutilized workforce - in reputable companies, with high-quality contract opportunities. And because this all happens online, you are left in full control of all processes, while having access to a global network, providing efficient solutions.

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    Enrico Tam

    MBA, Ph.D, tech entrepreneur, consultant and advisor

    • Project Management
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    3 projects listed (Electronics, Informatics) + 1 endorsment

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