Most major OEM studios suppliment their work force with some type of paid mercenary when the work load is greater than the permanent staff can handle but there comes a time when the percentage of contractors verses permanent staff can sometimes get out of wack. This type of situation not only jeopardizes the programs that are in progress but can also jeopardizes cadencing of future projects due to inconsistent manning levels.
You may be asking yourself, “What the hell is he talking about.” Just picture this situation where the logic behind the plan is to have just key personnel to manage the contract staff, a direct hire, be it a design director, model manager, workshop manager or personnel officer who receives a benefit package such as salary, health care, paid vacation etc, etc. As far as the company is concerned that equates to a reasonable compensation package and a safe seat, a person keeping reasonable contol of the day to day activities.
Now in this scenario the guys that are paid to do the work are employed contract staff, they become the employees of the agency, that is the company that they are vested in not the company that they are presently working for. Therefore at times when the work slackens off the hiring company can terminate contract staff by informing the agency that there is to be a staff reduction and X amount of workers will be let go on a certain date. This you may be saying is callous, unfeeling towards your work force but this doesn’t really come into it, contract workers are for the convenience of the hiring company, an easy way to control a work force without the additional headache of severance pay. That is why the extra premium is paid for a contract worker, mercenary or hired gun, call it what you will.
For the hiring company this is an ideal situation, control of the outgoing monies, flexible head count and the ability to shut an operation with minimal relocation issues. A few directs to pay severance to or offer relocation in the worst case and sell equipment for a penny on the dollar. Continue reading Finding Equalibrium