Years ago employers used to see temporary staff as simply a stopgap measure in times of crisis and until they had time to find someone permanent. Often they would confine the roles of temporary employees to low level, menial tasks whilst permanent staff looked after the ‘important’ jobs.
Times have changed though and taking on temporary or interim staff has become a useful weapon in the armoury of the flexible business.
In this article we’ll look at the benefits of this flexible way of working and how employers can take advantage of interim posts.
Filling that gap
This is the classic reason for hiring a temp and the one that most employers think about. Getting in extra short term workers to help fill that vital order is an extremely useful way of ensuring that you don’t disappoint customers without it costing you the earth.
Bring in extra skills
Many IT companies exist from contract to contract by buying in special and specific skills just to work on that one job. If your company has a niche sector that it services and experiences temporary surges in demand, then bringing in extra skilled employees just to help cope with the temporary increase in orders will help you to remain flexible in today’s fast moving marketplace.
Bring in different skills
Sometimes you need extra, high level skills. For example maybe you want to refresh your HR policies but don’t need a high level HR manager all of the time. Getting in a specialist to do a specific executive level project is an excellent way of staying compliant and allows you to broaden your businesses skill base without breaking the bank.
Replace missing employees
Flexibility and work-life balance seem to be becoming an ever more important part of the employer/employee contract. With flexible working, maternity and paternity, adoption and a variety of other leave types now becoming statutory it is vital that a sensible firm has the ability to plug a gap that may temporarily arise. Being able to take on a temporary staff member purely to cover maternity or long term sick leave is a very useful method of building in resilience too.
Builds in flexibility
Instil a level of flexibility into the company’s methods of operation makes it much more responsive to change and quicker to move in line with the market or its customers’ needs. Being able to increase numbers or skills at a time of need at little notice is a huge competitive advantage against more traditional permanent based businesses.
Forces the business to standardise and bake in efficiencies
An unseen and often unrecognised benefit of regularly employing temporary staff is that it almost forces the company to standardise its policies and procedures and stop relying on ‘head knowledge’ to run its business. Having a simple method of operating, clear and straightforward instructions and intuitive systems means that temps won’t have trouble acclimatising to their new working environment. This inbuilt efficiency tends to then percolate out into the wider business and executives may well find themselves dealing with less infuriating Three Letter Acronyms (TLAs!).
Extended job interview
One of the biggest expenses both in money, but also in time is the cost of hiring a new permanent member of staff. The shortlisting and interview process can be a long and somewhat tortuous one and at the end of it what the employer essentially has is a calculated gamble. Alternatively taking on a temporary employee does three things; it gives the staff member a chance to check out the company and the job, gives the company a chance to see if their new recruit will make the grade and fills a gap in the meantime. If it doesn’t work out then little is lost but if it does then the company makes a payment to the agency but is spared the cost, time and effort of interviewing for that permanent person.
As we’ve already seen getting a permanent person on board takes a fair amount of time. Alternatively recruiting a temp can be achieved exceptionally quickly with many available immediately. Within 24 hours your new employee might be sitting at their desk. Professional interims are also used to hitting the ground running and so the whole onboarding and training process is often that much quicker.
Adds in fresh perspectives
A professional interim will have no doubt worked at many companies and often in a variety of sectors. Bringing in the cross business aspect adds richness to their capability and businesses tend to find that this fresh perspective informs their decision making and allows them to take best practice from other areas.
Can often be more motivated
Whether the role is a simple fixed term contract or a temp to permanent opportunity, businesses may find that interims are more motivated by the challenge of a new company than a permanent employee who sees it as simply another stepping stone. Temps live or die by their last assignment and as long as they are getting rave reviews they won’t have any issues with securing work. This means that the motivation to do a good job and keep the standard up is high.
Employing temporary staff and interim managers is no longer a choice forced on businesses by circumstance. Choosing to bring in someone from outside can often revitalise areas of the business, add in extra badly needed skills and plug gaps in capacity. Managers can also find their next superstar permanent recruit from the ranks of their temporary staff intake.
Having seen the benefits of getting in temporary staff shown above it has to make sense for most company managers to consider it as a positive option for their business.
This guest blog was provided by Tom Rowbottom, Founder & Director at TempAuction
Since graduating from the University of Leeds with a degree in Civil & Structural Engineering, Tom has been working for a specialist geotechnical subcontractor, with responsibility for the management of a regional team of Engineers and construction operatives throughout the whole life cycle of projects, including the estimating, design, construction and commercial management. Following the frustration encountered sourcing temporary site staff within a sector experiencing skill shortages, Tom developed an innovative online platform for the procurement of temporary staff within multiple sectors.
In early 2015, Tom founded TempAuction, an independent and competitive marketplace for the procurement of high quality temporary staff, and has been working hard developing the platform which launched early 2016.
For more information go to www.tempauction.com