Leveraging a Flexible Workforce

There is no correlation between productivity and the time spent sat at a desk.

You can hire a permanent employee who might achieve half of what a flexi-worker does. The right person doing the right things for three days rather than the wrong person treading water for five can work miracles. Equally, taking on a new Interim Director for six months rather than sticking with the tried-and-tested safe incumbent can often set a company on a totally new (and improved) course.

Change for the sake of change is a dangerous tactic, but when change is genuinely required, increasingly more companies are embracing flexibility in how they make it happen.

When change is on the cards, as is most definitely the case in the current economic climate, encouraging flexibility is a great way of mitigating risk. Increasing the amount of interim and flexible talent that you bring into the business allows you to pinpoint exactly where the effort is required, and there are often hyper-specialised professionals to come in and tackle the issues.

Many of our clients are currently discussing how they can create a more flexible workforce – from life sciences to marketing, you simply need the best possible person to do the job at hand. It makes perfect sense to hire someone awesome to make a step change for six months rather than have a permanent resource struggle for two years.

A great business has a multitude of “a-ha” moments on its way to success, and it is often the divergent and innovative thinking of the outsider that provides much of the inspiration. When an interim or temp comes to us for interview, we always look for that track record of adding value from the moment they walk through the door. Seniority doesn’t matter – when you are a valuable temporary resource, your attitude has to be to walk in the door and make your difference.

Some of our most satisfying work has come with clients with whom we have such a close working relationship that when we see a potentially suitable individual come onto the market, we are able to understand exactly how they can make a difference to our client and we can be proactive in facilitating a meeting. When recruitment is based on an intimate knowledge of a client’s business, and when experienced talent is at a premium in a candidate-led market, recruitment is about the push as well as the pull.

You might think that interviewing a temporary or interim professional should differ from a permanent employee, but in actual fact the time that they are spending in the role is irrelevant. For the time that they are there, they are just as much a part of the team as a permanent person, and given the fact that their impact is designed to be transformative, getting the right fit is somehow even more important. A stream of disruptive temporary hires can bring a business to its knees, but an awesome conveyor belt of temporary talent is another thing entirely.

Is your business making the most of what temps or interims can offer?

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Julie Simmons

18th February

Client Advice

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