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.

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