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Small-to-Midsize Business Talent Strategies

Learn the small-to-mid-size business options for staying fully staffed during turbulent times.
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Over the last few years, small-to-midsize business (SMB) employers have had to navigate an increasing number of staffing challenges. Rapidly increasing wage bases, expectations for flexible work arrangements, and an uptick in retirements have motivated companies to consider new creative approaches to help them stay fully staffed with a skilled, healthy, and motivated workforce. We explore a few of those strategies here and in our webinar "Overcoming Talent Challenges – Strategies for SMBs."

Hiring Temporary Employees

Organizations may be looking for assistance to scale for future growth or may be seeking to add supplemental talent. In addition to planned staffing changes, talent needs can also arise unexpectedly. Contracting with temporary loan staff is an efficient way to minimize the disruption within SMBs. Temporary employees are generally contracted on an hourly basis while remaining flexible regarding the total weekly amount of time needed and the duration of the commitment. Temporary staff can provide the technical experience to support workforce strategies and offer specialized expertise across various industries and business areas.

Hiring Permanent Employees

Historically, the most common approach to filling a vacancy has been to hire a permanent replacement. This is typically done by posting the job details, sifting through applicants, performing multiple rounds of interviews, and, ultimately, making an offer of employment (sometimes followed by a negotiation). While this approach may be the best option for your business, there are components to consider that may make the transition smoother:

  • Is there a contingency plan to bridge the gap until the new employee is hired and trained?
  • Has additional time for required training/orientation by other employees been accounted for?
  • Is the best solution to try and fill the exact role of the previous employee, or is there an opportunity to redefine the job description by reallocating or automating some tasks?

Once an organization decides to undertake an employment search, there are options to help streamline the process. Staffing agencies and executive recruiters can assist with creating the job posting and screening of the applicants, helping organizations fast forward to where you can begin interviewing qualified candidates.


Outsourcing job responsibilities that were previously delegated to a permanent employee is another viable option for both permanent and temporary needs. While the rates for outsourcing responsibilities to third parties are typically higher than the hourly rates of employees, outsourcing can provide other cost savings that may offset those rate increases. For example:

  • Individual tasks and functions can be outsourced to third parties, which can often require far less time.
  • Outsourcing providers generally charge by the task or time period and are not typically compensated for time off.
  • Usually, employee benefits are provided directly to employees of the outsourced provider.
  • Outsourcing providers coordinate schedules and ensure that tasks are completed timely and accurately.
  • Outsourced providers usually provide their own equipment and facilities and do not require employer-provided resources.
  • The outsourced provider is ultimately responsible for hiring, training, and retention of employees, relieving employers of the responsibility.

Outsourced providers can also often begin working much quicker than a permanent hire, and their ongoing usage can remain more flexible. Hours can be increased or additional workers can be mobilized to cover an increased need for a special project or a spike in sales during a busier time of year.

A Hybrid Approach

Sometimes, a combination of these methods can be the best route for your SMB. Employers often face the challenge of filling an atypical role within their organization. These roles may require specific industry knowledge coupled with a unique mix of skills related to duties that multiple employees usually handle. It can be beneficial to split the responsibilities of the role between existing or newly hired employees and outsource various duties of the role.


Even if the best approach isn’t apparent at the beginning of the process, SMBs have options to get the best results. Tapping into a strong network and candidate pool is a valuable commodity in today’s tight labor market. FORVIS offers multiple strategies to help clients address newly-found staffing challenges.

Our Outsourced Accounting Services practice provides a dedicated team of over 100 people nationally. We are well-versed in helping create efficiency through system implementation and strategic outsourcing of accounting and financial responsibilities.

For those interested in hiring temporary employees, TALENT SHIFT®, a FORVIS subsidiary, can provide industry-specific resources, with the provision of vetted resumes in three business days or less. In addition, our Executive Search team can help you find a permanent employee who is the best fit for your organization. We can work with you to get the right people with the right skills aligned to your specific needs.

Whether you’re considering one of these options or need a combination of two or three, reach out to your FORVIS professional to learn more. For guidance on proactively preparing for inevitable employee turnover, read our “3 Considerations for Job Succession Planning & Preparedness” article.

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