SUNConferences, Southern African Institute for Industrial Engineering 2014

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EMPLOYEES VERSUS INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS: THE APPLICATION OF PRE-EMPTIVE LINEAR GOAL PROGRAMMING TO FIND A SUITABLE STAFFING MODEL
Marc Lucien Fienberg, Bernadette Sunjka

Last modified: 2014-06-26

Abstract


The skills held by the  workforce of Technical Engineering Design  (TED) companies are  the value proposition  that  TED firms sell  to  their clients. TED  firms typically use a mixed workforce of employees and independent contractors to provide flexibility  in resizing  their workforce,  as customer demand  for their  services fluctuates. The workforce configuration used affects the daily,  strategic  and  financial sustainability of TED  firms, while influencing their  competitiveness in winning tenders for new projects. This study developed a pre-emptive linear goal programming model to determine how employment positions should be staffed using employees and/or independent contractors for a local South African division  of a global TED firm. A total of 9 dimensions were identified to evaluate the current workforce. The primary dimensions of significance were the corruption  risk associated with a skilled position, strategic  importance of a skill to the firm, the  perceived  value of intellectual property held by an  employee,  and skill retention  costs.  This study was able  to determine a good workforce model of employees and independent contractors, aligned with the specific constraints and strategic workforce objectives that management  of the TED firm  wished to achieve.

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