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Why recruiting temps should be included in your business strategy

By Mark Staniland, Regional Managing Director of Hays London City & Midlands

Within the last decade, we’ve seen a huge increase in our clients’ appetite for recruiting temporary hires. It’s an ongoing and widespread trend, and not (as you might expect) just a result of cost reductions or knee-jerk decisions.

Our clients are now starting to realise that in order to attract and retain a successful workforce, they need to perceive temp recruitment as an opportunity. It’s a low-risk chance to ensure you get the best people with the right skills at the required time. Think of it as access to ‘talent on-demand’.

Temps also contribute to the wider business strategy, as you can see what benefits may come from bolting on new skills to a team or project. As such, we no longer see them as the ‘placeholders’ they once were, but a key part of recruiting the next generation. Here’s why:

1. Niche skills and different perspectives from your existing team

Temps are often subject to the assumption that they’re less experienced than permanent staff, so have historically only been considered for less senior roles. However, these days we see interim staff coming in as high as board level, due to their niche skill-sets and unique approach to their industry sectors.

For example, at Hays, we provide many highly-skilled contractors within the IT sector. We treat them as highly specialised individuals, who often thrive due to the constant improvements they gain from their contracts, as well as needing to learn new skills and stay up to date with the latest trends. Successful temps understand that their income is based on their performance, which is more pressure and requires more focus on results than some permanent employees, who can become complacent after time.

2. A boost in productivity

Temps are also highly motivated by the benefits of their working style. Talented and in-demand candidates get to command high salaries, better tax breaks and a higher degree of flexibility, all of which contributes towards their focused and work ethic.

By dedicating an interim worker to a sole project, you can rely on them to ignore office politics and be less distracted with any non-relevant tasks. Their purpose is purely to provide efficiency for what needs to be done.

In the long run, this will positively influence your permanent staff in how they achieve their goals, and the incumbent team will often appreciate the fact that you’ve provided support where they may otherwise have been overwhelmed.

3. A healthy challenge to your decisions

What better way to bring fresh ideas into your organisation than with experienced individuals who’ve worked on similar projects? A new pair of eyes will bring you a wider perspective, so by recruiting highly skilled temp employees, you will open your business to a more holistic view of things. This is a surefire way to avoid the pitfalls of ‘groupthink’ and start to encourage diversity within your decision-making process.

4. Quick solutions that can influence the future

Getting a temp worker into your team is a much quicker, easier process than permanent hiring, and carries far less risk. Putting the onus on your recruiter to source your talent frees up a lot of your time, and if it doesn’t work out you have a huge bank of alternatives to dip into.

By choosing a solution that’s quicker to find, can often get on board without a notice period, and charged with making instant impact, you will not have to wait long before you see the benefits of your decision.

This also gives you an opportunity to think about transitioning their role into a permanent one, whilst evaluating their performance during the time they have been in your organisation. Creating new roles is tough and carries some risk with it, but by allowing an interim worked to wade through some of this with you, it may highlight potential improvements you could make to your permanent workforce.

Diversifying your workforce with temp and perm staff can have a great impact on productivity, innovation, teamwork and (most important of all) the bottom line. The desire for temp workers is continuously growing and the benefits of using them are clear, so it’s important to make sure they are part of your overall hiring strategy.

For more information or to discuss your recruitment needs, please contact your local consultant.

About this author

Mark joined Hays in 1985 as a trainee consultant. In 2000, he launched Hays Education with just six recruiting experts. By 2007, it had become the market leading education recruitment consultancy in the UK with a turnover of £70m, and employing 250 staff. He was appointed as Managing Director of Hays Midlands in 2011, and in 2015 was also appointed Regional Managing Director of Hays City of London business, based in Cheapside.

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