How Staffing Alternatives Help Companies With KPIs

How Staffing Alternatives Help Companies With KPIs

Enterprise organizations are undergoing transformational experiences. Generational premiums on healthy work-life balances encourage companies to embrace remote work dynamics. As many as 98% of people would, at the very least, like the option to work remotely—either as remote full-time workers of an organization, or as independent professionals who work remote full-time. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced most companies to shut down their offices and operate fully remotely. As a result, many companies are rethinking how they work and accelerating their own adoption of remote workforces.

New technology enables organizations to manage a remote workforce using on-demand talent platforms. This combination of enterprise companies and independent professionals enables organizations to get more done at cost-effective rates.

Here’s a quick guide on why alternative staffing solutions benefit large enterprises. We’ll also look into the benefits of connecting your business with the best independent professional talent.

Companies can’t rely on traditional staffing anymore

Enterprise organizations have very high growth expectations. Common methods of measuring growth include KPIs such as:

  • Increased lead generation at sustainable rates
  • Higher quality pipeline in the sales funnel
  • Regular closed won revenue deals
  • Opportunities to upsell or cross-sell existing clients
  • Healthy client retention and low customer churn rates

Yet, achieving one or more of those KPIs is no easy task. Internal teams are limited by factors like time, budgets, bandwidth, and resources. By extension, partnering with traditional staffing firms are costly endeavors that take a lot of time with no guarantee that high-quality talent will be easy to find.

As a result, organizations that strive for more agile methods of getting things done find themselves at a loss.

In-house teams and staffing firms have limitations

For the sake of argument, let’s assume that an organization has forecast YoY annual growth at 10%. To achieve that amount of expansion, the company requires more visibility, more consumer engagement and, of course, more conversions into sales and direct revenue.

High growth forecasts are all well and good, but the organization requires enough talent to produce results. If the existing team only has so many resources at their disposal or bandwidth to develop new programs. It’s unrealistic to expect aggressive growth without supportive investments.

Hiring managers can increase the size of the team to fill any noticeable skill gaps. Unfortunately, the average cost to hire a new employee is around $4,000, on top of the new hire’s salary and benefits. Adding more full-time members to the team is an expensive investment that can actually hinder your organization’s goal.

Relying on traditional staffing firms to scout new talent is no better. These agencies charge fee structures when they provide new talent, but the quality is frequently subpar. 61% of hiring managers are unsatisfied with staffing firms because the time, costs, and quality of talent fail to meet expectations. Often, staffing agencies have the same challenge as direct hiring managers. In fact, 73% of agencies say talent shortages are their biggest challenge. The pool of quality talent in the market is sparse, and many companies are competing for those same professionals.

Professional staffing alternatives with quality talent

Many enterprise organizations rely on alternative staffing solutions to expand their capabilities. These companies have found great success through Upwork Enterprise’s on-demand approach to sourcing high-quality professional talent.

Faced with challenges of slower than ideal project completion times, GE engaged Upwork to increase the amount of talented professionals working for their brand.

Thanks to Upwork’s proven ability to directly connect organizations with skilled professionals, GE was able to reduce their time to source independent talent down to one business day. As a result, the company saw their time to complete projects improve by 50% as compared to traditional staffing solutions.

Nasdaq is another example of an enterprise organization that saw success with Upwork. Nasdaq recognized the potential of a greater social media presence, but they lacked the skills, budget, and bandwidth in-house to build an engaged and loyal social following.

By utilizing Upwork, Nasdaq connected with high-quality photographers, videographers, graphic designers, and motion capture specialists. Together, these professionals helped Nasdaq grow their social following from 20K to over 3M people, and they designed an Emmy-award winning Facebook Watch program. Nasdaq intends to replicate their social success in North America on an international level, and they will use Upwork to source the professional talent.

Ability to scale talent up or down as needed

One of the benefits of using Upwork is the ability to expand or retract the amount of professionals working for your organization. You have the ability to hire skilled talent on-demand when projects require additional support. Conversely, you can scale down the number of people you hire to meet fluctuations in the business.

This is a great approach for companies that go through cyclical business cycles. For example, the holidays are a busy time of year for any company, and it’s not uncommon to hire temporary staff to manage the influx of holiday traffic. Upwork connects your organization to highly talented professionals who can help manage your holiday social media presence, or provide direct to consumer support with special promotions. In either case, you have access to quality talent who can provide and maintain experiences that are expected from your customers.

Companies forced to go through downsizing in the heart of a recession can also use Upwork to come back from dire times. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, nearly
a quarter of surveyed employers planned to downsize their in-house staff. The world has undergone a unique recession as a result of the pandemic, and this likely means some of those jobs are permanently gone. You can hire on-demand talent on an as-needed basis rather than spend time rehiring and retraining full-time staff.  This way, you can manage costs and still get the most important work done to create a path back from the COVID-19 recession.

Business benefits of staffing alternatives like Upwork

As enterprise organizations strive to become more agile and innovative, it makes good business sense to reevaluate how to source high-quality talent. On-demand talent platforms enable practical ways to build professional teams for the future. Staffing alternatives like Upwork align well with your plans to be innovative and scale business growth.

Here are a few examples of how platforms like Upwork provide measurable benefits to large organizations and why they’re so important for companies to scale.

Connect with independent professionals that fills skill gaps

Best-selling author Simon Sinek popularized the concept of WHY in his book “Start With Why.” He encourages leaders to become voices of inspiration for the companies they represent. This is one of his quotes that aptly describes why enterprise organizations, in particular, are optimizing their workforces with both internal and external professional talent.

We can't all be good at everything. This is partly the logic behind having a team in the first place, so each role can be filled with the person best suited for that role and together, every job and every strength is covered.

This is how enterprise organizations improve their productivity and drive innovation. The goal of any company is to hire the best candidate whose skills are best suited for the needs of a particular job. But there’s nothing written in stone that says the perfect candidate must be someone who works full-time, in-house.

Technology enables companies to scale their workforce up or down as business dynamics change over time. Companies can gain a competitive advantage over rivals when they hire on-demand talent when the need presents itself. As Simon Sinek says, no one is good at everything, and the average shelf life of skills is 5 years or less. This means that 75% of what you learned 10 years ago is now obsolete, and only half of what you learned 5 years ago is useful today. In order to maintain an agile and competitive workplace, companies need to diversify their talent pool to gain access to the skills they need to compete.

Time can be a liability for agile companies who are both performance-driven and defined by speed. In this instance, when training internal employees takes too much time, independent professionals provide a competitive advantage. Independent professionals are nearly twice as likely as employees to complete skills training in the last 6 months.

Therefore, remote professionals are more agile project managers, which allows the company to get more done and grow at faster rates.

Staffing alternative solutions are a great use of budgets

We’ve previously highlighted the costs incurred by an organization to hire new full-time employees. Additionally, there are fees and other charges that arise when partnering with traditional staffing firms to scout new talent.

For companies that have limited budgets for talent acquisition, neither of these options are beneficial to the bottom line. However, platforms like Upwork are a cost-effective alternative that connect companies with independent on-demand professionals with highly specialized skills.

Rather than connect to new talent through an agency, alternative staffing solutions enable organizations to form one-to-one relationships with independent professionals. This approach cuts out the middleman of an agency and reduces overhead costs of sourcing new talent. Companies have saved 30-50% in hiring costs by utilizing on-demand talent platforms over traditional staffing firms.

Enterprise organizations that directly connect with independent professionals create cost-effective, scalable, and agile means of productivity. Companies with flexible solutions are more in control of their own hiring costs, which goes a long way towards improving the bottom line.

Trusted independent professionals ensure confidence in on-demand hires

When hiring a full-time employee, hiring managers review resumes, investigate skill sets, and ask for referrals or testimonials. This is the traditional way to screen and validate potential candidates before offering a position.

However, this is a timely and laborious process. Pre-employment background checks can take as long as 5 business days. Enterprise organizations that are committed to agile growth don’t have the time to vet dozens or potentially hundreds of different candidates using this process.

Alternative staffing solutions like Upwork enable the vetting process to be complete in minutes. Every top remote professional on the Upwork platform receives ratings, reviews, and success scores from past relationships with other enterprises. Examples of work from these previous jobs—or through personal portfolios—are attached to their profiles for review.

Hiring managers can quickly review a candidate’s profile with clear, credible, and transparent insight into how that particular professional conducts business. It’s a much faster and straightforward screening process that also enables companies to have confidence in the independent professionals they hire. They’ll know what to expect based on the details of the profile, enabling an easier and assured decision making process.

Access to a broader pool of talent on a global scale

Staffing agencies are often local and maintain networks of contacts within their local markets. Sometimes, this leads to very promising candidates. But enterprises are limited in potential for quality hires with only a local talent pool.

For example, look at booming job markets like Chicago, New York City, or San Francisco. Many working professionals live in or around these metropolitan regions, and dozens of Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in each of these cities. In fact, all three markets are on the list of top 10 cities with the most Fortune 1000 companies, and New York City is at the very top of the list.

However, there are only so many positions to fill, and a limited number of people with particular skill sets based in each local market. That means companies are competing against each other to recruit the optimal experienced professionals to their teams.

The benefit of staffing alternatives, like Upwork, is there are no geographic limitations. Organizations have access to a global network of professional talent along with advanced matching algorithms and talent clouds. This ensures only quality talent with proven skills and experience make it through to candidacy. And, since they’re remote workers, they can be experienced professionals located anywhere in the world.

Remote hires are also more cost-effective for the organization. Independent professionals are far less expensive than internal full-time hires. This helps the organization maintain a cap on salaries to shift more of the operating budget towards promotions.


Evolution and adaptation are how successful enterprises continue to scale growth on a global level. There are always new opportunities to improve processes, connect with the best talent, and deliver quality assets that support positive business outcomes. Companies that implement new creative solutions have a distinct advantage, enabling a firmer path forward towards new growth.

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, we’ve entered a brand new world where remote work is more accepted. This is the time to consider using alternative staffing solutions, and Upwork is your best bet for an alternative that performs.


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Author Spotlight

How Staffing Alternatives Help Companies With KPIs
The Upwork Team

Upwork is the world’s work marketplace that connects businesses with independent talent from across the globe. We serve everyone from one-person startups to large, Fortune 100 enterprises with a powerful, trust-driven platform that enables companies and talent to work together in new ways that unlock their potential.

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