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As a business owner, Director or Manager, it is usually an instinctive behaviour to sit tight in times of uncertainty. The problem with this is that any organisation that is not evolving or moving forward is stagnating and potentially putting themselves in a weakened position. On the other side of the coin, a too optimistic deployment of resources can leave you in a vulnerable position. Currently the only certainty in the UK, from an economic and political perspective, is that there is a lot of uncertainty.
One of the main concerns for business during these unsure times is how to maintain a productive staff while operating at a profit. Many of the smartest business people rely on temporary staffing solutions to not only weather the storm but to pass through it and emerge even stronger on the other side. There are always examples of businesses who defy the odds and grow and flourish while all around them seem to flounder or fold. One way to strengthen your position while reducing your exposure to risk is by using temporary staffing solutions.
Here are five reasons why savvy leaders use interim and temporary workers in a strategic way:
1. Out manoeuvre your competition
Despite the numerous clichés at our disposal, (fortune favours the brave, survival of the fittest etc.), it is only the few that seize the opportunity to do something that goes against the grain of conventional wisdom. We often call them trailblazers, visionaries, outliers and so on, but they are simply those that opted to do something different from the rest of the field. Recognising it would not be fiscally responsible to permanently increase headcount at this time, the proactive leader will look to obtain the best talent available to deliver gains in whatever area will make them stand out from the competition. This may be hiring an interim expert in any field that will serve the company well.
If the competition is reducing sales and marketing budgets, you might be better served by employing an interim marketing or social media expert who can design and deliver a marketing programme that will leverage spend rather than just throwing more money at it than the competition – or following suit and reducing your own marketing presence. If you don’t have a dedicated Financial Director or somebody who provides properly costed out budgets and growth projections, this could be the expertise you bring in. Alternatively, if you have an internal expert who is too busy to undertake innovative work and projects that would prove profitable, you could bring in some administrative support so that they can dedicate time to developing either a new, or a proven, revenue stream. Or you could go in all guns blazing and bring in some high-level help in the form of a Sales Director or Management Consultant for six to twelve months. At the other end of the spectrum, you could bolster the production and distribution or customer service teams to ensure that your delivery and service standards wipe the competition of the face of the earth because your teams are not depleted. This means that they will have the resource, and energy, to not only do things thoroughly but to go the extra mile required to set you apart.
2. Cost effective
Hiring a temporary worker is a simple line item transaction from a monetary point of view. Working in partnership with your HR, an agency will remove the need for you to undertake an application and interview process, reference checking, screening, or payroll tax-related expenses. Most will provide a pre-employment orientation before the worker walks through your door and, where on-site training is reduced, productivity is increased. You pay only for the hours worked and do not incur any holiday or sickness pay liabilities as these are borne by the recruitment agency.
3. Quick turnaround & responsive
One of the most attractive aspects of utilising temporary workers is the ability to respond quickly to business needs. You can increase or reduce hours on a weekly basis if needs dictate and you can take people on within a few days and suspend or terminate contracts with only one weeks’ notice or less. It is often possible to engage a temporary worker within a few days of giving the requirement to your chosen agency. This negates the need for a lengthy interview process and means that you can get things done straight away.
When new legislation demands or new business routes to market present themselves, you can engage a professional to capitalise on their experience rather than go through a long, and potentially costly, learning curve by trial and error.
4. Plug skill gaps despite low unemployment rate & candidate shortage
It is a well-publicised fact that there are currently skills shortages across most sectors and some of the lowest unemployment rates we’ve witnessed for years. While you may be finding it nigh-on impossible to fill a role with a permanent candidate, you may find close enough to what you need in the guise of a temporary, or interim, candidate. Despite the low rates of unemployment, there will always be somebody who has just been made redundant, just relocated, just made the decision to return to work after a gap, just semi-retired, or who is a “professional temp” and is looking for a new challenge or assignment.
Leaders that can see past filling the vacancy with the perfect fit will create more success. They realise that the sound of things getting done is sweeter than any rhetoric about only hiring the “Golden One”. When the duration of an assignment is finite it is easier to give on some of the terms you would hold as sacred in a permanent fixture. In some cases, this can give you access to individuals who are more highly qualified and experienced than you would need as a long-term option which enables you to turbo-charge your results.
In my experience, many people who would not have made it to interview with a client, based on their CV, have been offered permanent employment following a temporary contract where they have really proved their worth and made themselves indispensable.
5. Reduced risk, liability & commitment
When utilising temporary workers, you do not attract employment liabilities such as payroll, employers NI and tax, holiday and sickness pay, redundancy pay etc. You must make sure that your recruitment agency partner is managing the assignment so that you do not imply employed status by the way you treat the temporary worker. This can include simple things such as making sure any changes in hours or booking holidays and days off are relayed via the agency and not agreed directly between the parties.
If a project isn’t delivering results as you would have expected, or if there is a significant change within the business, the temporary worker can be let go without repercussions. Where they are required to remain with the company for some time, there is no commitment to offer any guarantee of promotion or progression. Temporary workers realise they are there to complete a specific project or handle peak requirements. If an opportunity to promote, progress or employ arises this is a bonus and not an obligation.
Overall, temporary or interim workers can prove extremely valuable, especially if delaying on a project or getting something done is costing you money, or potential new revenue.
At Recruit Recruit, our Temporaries Division specialises in finding you just the person to plug your gaps. This ranges from basic administrative or distribution assistance, through specialist skills, to interim Managers or C-Suite level executives.
To discuss where you could use some additional help please call 01902 763006 where one of the team will be happy to help. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: TEMPORARY HELP.