The strategic use of temp staff and interim talent is becoming more of a differentiator, elevating top performing companies above the pack. Executives who recognise the value of temporary staff are forward thinkers and planners who are determined to lead agile organisations, capable of navigating continuously changing market conditions, by having a pool of talent ‘on tap’ to draw upon when required. They utilise interim staff to scale up and down as required to thrive in the good times and in the tough times. They budget for the use of temps because they understand the value that can be realised from the investment.
Here are three reasons to make hiring temps part of your business strategy:
Firepower for hire
I saw the benefits of this first hand when we ran a high volume recruitment campaign for a key client. For a couple of months, we hired an experienced Recruitment Specialist with the domain expertise we needed to give us the extra capacity required to deliver the project. The result was a smoothly executed recruitment program that met the timeframes and the budget, without the ongoing overhead cost of a permanent hire.
Bringing in highly skilled staff for a finite period of time to work on a project or to backfill permanent staff on annual leave is a brilliant way to maximise efficiency and productivity without being financially burdensome.
More and more candidates are seeing this work style as the new norm and choose to go from project to project, developing their skills and gaining new experiences along the way. The permanent job aspiration for all is becoming a thing of the past in many industries. The Information Technology sector is one where interim project work is standard practice and many candidates are not interested in permanent roles, preferring to be professional contractors.
A huge benefit of hiring temporary staff is the sharing of skills. Temps can bring different perspectives and fresh ideas to the organisation and impart these on the permanent staff leaving a lasting legacy.
I recently recruited a highly skilled candidate to join our client on a 12 month contract to act as a mentor for a permanent employee who wasn’t quite operating at the required level following a restructure and change to his job. This was a brilliant demonstration by the management team of how they were investing in their permanent employees, sending a strong message that people are valued.
Ride the cycles
Just as farmers hire seasonal workers during a harvest or retailers hire additional casual salespeople during the busy summer holiday periods, so too are many other types of employer groups. Insurance companies ready themselves for anticipated storm or fire periods by recruiting claims officers to call upon as required, sporting clubs hire casuals for membership drives in the lead up to a new season, large corporations hire accountant contractors to get them through year end reporting time, doctors call upon locums to cover leave as do schools with substitute teachers.
A client of mine has a ‘bench’ of specialist talent who they call upon when they need additional staffing to deliver their projects. The cyclical nature of the work they do demands flexibility, so by having a pool of candidates to draw from, they are able to nimbly provide seamless service to their customers.
Employment is changing
In the past, temps were often merely used as a last resort when something went wrong or an unforeseen event occurred requiring urgent help. Temps were often quite junior in the organisation and seen as peripheral to the main staffing cohort. Although this type of temp hiring still exists, smart organisations are also embedding the use of temp staff in their business strategy and proactively planning to bring in temps as a competitive edge. They are hiring senior executives and highly skilled experts to tap into knowledge that they don’t have internally and they are valuing their contribution.
Temporary employment is growing and it can add tremendous value to your organisation. Are you planning your temporary staffing?
Ben Walsh – General Manager; Recruitment