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June 19, 2012

The dangers of hiring ad hoc workers

In an uncertain economic terrain, many companies utilize ad hoc workers for short-term assignments, touting this practice as an efficiency measure that circumvents commitment, expensive benefit plans, and messy perquisites.

While this tactic might have some immediate advantages, if used inefficiently, relying on ad hoc workers can cut much more than just immediate expenses.

  • Ad hoc free agents are not committed to your company and its goals. Temporary workers typically do not care about your company’s long-term plan. They are an interim fix that provides no foundation for your business to rely on.
  • Dismantling your permanent employee roster deteriorates the company culture. An “adhocratic” environment makes permanent employees uneasy and undermines their feelings of security. It is the antithesis of a key rule for success in business: “Develop a skilled and loyal workforce.”
  • Who guards the company's secrets and proprietary data? How can you be sure the ad hoc you contracted won't take his or her next job at your competitor? Security becomes a slippery slope for companies that use ad hoc workers as a quick fix rather than a strategic vision.

Ultimately, the wise business owner might want to think twice before employing the reactive, tactical, and frankly easy approach of adhocracy, especially when serving as the keeper of the corporate culture.

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