two people face to face at table as seen from above For employers looking to fill critical staffing gaps, engaging with contingent workers can put the right talent in the right place much more quickly than traditional hiring practices. (Photo: Andrey Popov/

Your favorite shop is inexplicably closed when you arrive, as no one was available to work the register that day. Your order at the print shop isn’t quite ready yet, as the owner is running all jobs herself this week. The host at your neighborhood diner preemptively apologizes as he seats you, explaining that they are short-staffed that evening.

Blame the Great Resignation, continued Covid concerns, or whatever the next headline reads; any way you slice it, employers from the high-rise to the corner store are struggling to keep talent on their payroll. Without enough workers to satiate the demand, many businesses are taking unprecedented steps; offering sign-on bonuses, promising tuition reimbursement, and bumping salaries above the normal range have become the norm.

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