Whether you’re facing budgetary, scheduling, or personnel challenges, flexibility in the face of tight constraints is what successful staffing is all about. When worse does come to worse—which it always does once in a while—you should be excited. Why panic, scramble, and trip yourself up when you’ve already invested the time into building relationships, systems, and workflows that are structured to fall into place when the nightmare becomes reality? Here are some of the insights we rely on daily for success in staffing at Marathon TS.

Know Your Enemies

The flu. Nobody wants it, but we can all fall victim to it in a critical moment—alongside a slew of other health-related, logistical, or economic risks. Most staffing agencies approach these threats outside our control with great anxiety or fear. But the more we know about the specific pitfalls of an industry, a company, a project, or a person, the better we can equip ourselves to face them.

Be confident that you’ve already prepared for this by selecting the right project leader, phasing in the right number of personnel, and relying on strong client relationships built upon a mutual understanding of how people and our budget and time must be flexible to account for the risks we’ve already identified.

They don’t call it the unforeseen because you should’ve seen it coming. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for a basic, platonic risk. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know. Be sure that you’ve accounted for everything you can account for, but work closely with all sides of the situation to get a feel for what might lie beyond the fabled “worst case scenario.” Make room for those facing a tight situation to flex, breathe, and stay steady as they tread into unknown territory.

Know Your Allies

Bill Gates once said that he would always hire a lazy person to do the toughest jobs at Microsoft because they’d find the easiest way to accomplish their quite lofty goals. Laziness is always defined as a negative trait, but the way we frame the differences between “laziness” and “efficient” can make all the difference in the world when it comes to overcoming complex challenges in a tight situation.

It’s fairly easy for quality agencies to maintain a good understanding of their staff’s strengths. But, the best staffing agencies also know how to leverage their staff’s weaknesses. Open communication built on trust will allow your staff to more easily identify mistakes and misconceptions. One large DevSecOps team’s workflow might rely on highly documented, iterative methodologies while another may suffer from excessive requirements matrixes and wastefully redundant documentation efforts.

Demonstrating this understanding of a flexible, relationship-based approach makes it apparent to all sides of the staffing equation that you’ve built a system that places proper focus on the vital aspects of your specific situation. Keeping your clients satisfied is just as vital to success as keeping your employees satisfied. Understanding how people can and will rise to the challenge in the face of adversity will lead to a successful staffing strategy that properly drives action through clearer, more open channels.