One of the greatest expenses that companies incur is labor costs. Employees are essential to keeping a business running, so this is a necessary expense, but there are strategies that companies can use to control costs without sacrificing results. Implementing the right processes can help improve operating margins, performance, and profitability while reducing overhead, turnover, and employee burnout.

  1. Optimize Staffing. Many companies are shifting toward lean operations, and staffing is an integral part of that. Determine the amount of core staff necessary to meet normal business demands. During peak times when demand increases, bring on temporary staff to manage overflow and keep productivity on track.
  2. Prioritize Assignments. Decide which projects or tasks are most critical and which are least critical or time-sensitive. Have employees focus on getting the most important work done first, or those assignments which cannot be delegated, and hire temporary employees to assist with the rest. This will help reduce overtime while still ensuring work is completed on time.
  3. Hire Qualified Employees. Find employees who have the right skills and experience for the role so the company does not have to spend extra money training them up to where they need to be or correcting errors due to lack of knowledge or experience. While looking for the right hire, leverage the abilities of skilled temporary employees who can get the job done. Work with a staffing firm to identify temporary hires who already have the desired training and skills.
  4. Reduce Benefits Expense. By optimizing staffing levels and using temporary or outsourced employees to fill in, companies can reduce their benefits costs. Temporary employees are paid through the staffing firm and typically not eligible for company benefits. Outsourced professionals receive these benefits through their primary employer.
  5. Outsource Some HR Responsibilities. When employing temporary staff, the staffing company takes care of recruiting, interviewing, paperwork, payroll, and any benefits. This can free up your company’s HR staff to focus on its own employees and reduce associated expenses.
  6. Limit Unemployment Claims. Temporary employees work for the staffing company, so once their position has ended with your company, you are not responsible for any unemployment claims or costs. The only unemployment you would need to worry about would be for your own employed staff.
  7. Identify Areas Where Staffing is Needed. Analyze your business’ productivity and where there are opportunities for improvement. Are there certain processes that are backed up and slowing production down? Are specific employees taking on too much work to reasonably handle? Increase staffing in these targeted areas to drive productivity, whether hiring permanent employees or temporary staff to manage a spike in demand or streamline operations.
  8. Put the Right Employees in the Right Positions. Hiring the wrong person for the job can be incredibly costly. Work with a staffing company that will find professionals who meet the needs of the position and are a good cultural fit. You can test things out on a temp-to-hire model until you see if the employee works out and you want to bring them on full-time. If they are not a good fit, the staffing company can find someone else.
  9. Cut Busywork. Employees will often stretch work to fit the available time. Make sure they have enough tasks or projects to fill their day and hold them accountable for getting their work done. Eliminate unnecessary meetings that waste time and keep them from actually doing their job. Prioritizing assignments and providing support through temporary hires can help companies find the right balance.
  10. Value Employee Well-Being. Ensure that employees feel valued and have the necessary tools, resources, and support to get the job done. If they are juggling too much on their plate, they are more likely to experience burnout, be working overtime, and be slowing down production. Supplement areas of need with temporary staff who can help reduce some of this burden and keep things running smoothly.

Partnering with a staffing agency can help businesses optimize their labor costs and find the right people for the job with less stress. By controlling costs, companies can enhance their bottom line and focus on continuing to grow their business in a sustainable manner.