There is an associated risk with almost all aspects of life. From buying a new car to starting a new relationship – risk is always present. When managing a project, there can be many risks involved that can hinder progress or even halt the project altogether. Learning how to manage risk can be a valuable tool not only in project management but in a variety of different industries. In this blog, I will briefly talk about four basic risk response strategies and how they can be applied to hiring new staff.

Risk Response Strategies

The first step in implementing effective risk response strategies is to avoid a potential risk. By practicing avoidance, one can stop negative risks from ever occurring. However, the key to avoiding potential risks is learning how to identify them before they happen. If one cannot identify potential risks, then it is impossible to try and avoid them. In terms of screening potential candidates for a position, one can utilize risk avoidance by implementing exams or tests to help identify candidates who may not actually possess the skills highlighted in their resume.

If it’s too difficult to identify and avoid risk, then one can try and transfer the associated risk elsewhere. Elizabeth Harrin, a project manager and project leader in healthcare technology, suggests that transferring risk works in the same manner as an insurance policy. Harrin says, “When you buy an insurance policy you shift some of the impact of the risk on to the insurance firm and they would be liable if the risk did happen.” (Harrin) In reality, staffing agencies provide a level of insurance for employers who are trying to avoid high turnovers within their organization and the costs associated with that high turnover.

If avoiding or transferring risk is not going to work, then mitigating risk is the next best solution. In some cases, risk is completely unavoidable. By attempting to control and reduce the impact of negative risk, one can possibly keep damage to a project to a minimum. Harrin says, “…if you have a project risk around the testing phase taking too long, you can add more testers to your resource pool. The risk still might happen, but at least you’ve done something to make it less bad…” (Harrin).

Finally, if all controls in place have failed, then the next step would be acceptance. In some cases, there is no stopping negative risk from affecting a project. One needs to come to terms with this reality and attempt to adapt to it. Harrin goes on to say, “Being able to adapt (if it does happen) is one of the top skills for project managers… It may be far too costly to implement any other kind of risk management strategy, given the impact that this risk would have.” (Harrin)

Buy an Insurance Policy

By partnering with a staffing agency, an employer can transfer risk safely without having to worry about affecting their unemployment insurance tax rate and save time recruiting and screening potential candidates.

If you are in need of secure staffing solutions for your organization, contact us today and discover how we can save your organization time and grief!



Harrin, Elizabeth. 4 Risk Response Strategies for Negative Risks. 14 October 2016. 5 June 2017.




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