Flexi Staffing: Then, Now and The Future


With the attraction of permanent and secure jobs quickly diminishing in India, the Flexi-staffing or contractual/ temporary staffing market is expected to increase in size. It is, in fact, a rapidly growing phenomenon that is fast catching up in India, especially in sectors such as Information Technology and Internet-Related Organizations.

A recent report by the Indian Staffing Federation (ISF), an association that overlooks the recruitment sector, suggests that out of 463.4 million strength of the total workforce, Flexi-staffing grew at almost 16.3 percent to reach 3.3 million in 2018. Further, the industry is expected to grow 22.7 percent to reach a phenomenal 6.1 million-strong by 2021 as per the report by ISF.

The Impact of Key Reforms on Job Formalisation and Flexi Staffing report by ISF also revealed some other interesting trends and findings including-

  • India is among the top 5 nations in terms of the Flexi workforce base
  • Flexi-staffing solutions have the potential to be among the key job creation engines in India

The figures speak a lot about the rapid growth of Flexi-staffing and why organizations are finding it an alluring staffing solution.

What is Flexi Staffing and How Can It Help Organizations?

Flexi staffing or flexible staffing is a staffing solution where organizations can hire employees on a temporary or project basis. The urgency of hiring employees on varying needs has grown the demand for Flexi staffing in India. 

It also bridges the gap between the organized and unorganized sectors and helps organizations fill the resource gaps easily. It is largely a win-win situation for both the employees and employers. In fact, as per the survey by Kelly Services and the Society for Human Resource Management in 2018, 42% of organizations agreed that they would explore contract staffing solutions in the next 3-6 months. The survey also revealed that 68% of organizations confirmed that they already hired Flex staff for a period of 6-12 months on short term projects.

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The following are the additional benefits that Flexi staffing provides –

  • Saves times and cost of recruitment/selection

Having a mix of full-time and contract workers allows companies to turn a part of their fixed personnel costs into variable expenses by paying only for the talent they need. Additionally, it saves a lot of time usually spent on hiring and training new staff.

  • Allows quick mobilization and demobilization of resources

Flexi staffing allows you to free up your full-time employees whenever needed and tap the talents of temporary workers to assist with day-to-day team responsibilities. It also allows permanent staff to pursue more complex tasks and take time off occasionally to recharge.

  • Helps companies to improve employee retention

Creating a full-time/contractual mix provides a buffer for core employees during the times of layoff. When employees feel valued and foresee job security along with the support from temporary staff, it helps improve retention rate.

  • Gives a competitive advantage

Adopting a flexible staffing strategy gives companies more control over personnel. This, in turn, gives an advantage over competitors with rigid staffing structures.

What Makes Flexi Hiring an Interesting Proposition for Organizations?

There are two top trends that make Flexi hiring interesting for organizations –

  1. While organizations are seeking quicker deployment for niche skills, candidates with emerging skills such as AI and machine learning wish to be a part of the gig economy instead of becoming a part of the usual corporate hierarchy.
  2. Especially in the IT sector, Flexi hiring is largely for jobs that organizations do not want to hire permanent staff. These include skills such as basic coding and testing, as they want to hedge against fast-changing skills in the sector.

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To Wrap

The need for workforce flexibility, coupled with the need for improved productivity and legal compliance is on an all-time high in recent times. To help organizations meet this pressing demand, Flexi-staffing offers a great solution that covers various aspects of HR needs- from recruitment, selection to exit formalities.

Companies no longer worry about the risks associated with temporary staffing solutions and are constantly working on establishing business processes that offer cost-effective and flexible solutions, along with addressing the challenges related to contractual recruitment. Businesses adopting such kinds of subcontract and Flexi hiring models are, in fact, at an advantage considering the changing speed of work fulfillment.

The pace at which the Flexi staffing industry is growing, the time isn’t far when India will reach new heights with Flexi staff deployed across industries.

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