During periods of growth you can quickly find your team over stretched, particularly at certain times of the year.
It may be that you have a seasonal business, you are undertaking a project or perhaps introducing a new software system. A smart way to alleviate pressure quickly is with temporary staff. Here are some tips to make the most of the temporary market.
Be open to temps
All businesses experience staffing gaps. It could happen when sick leave needs covering, when creditors are building up, or you notice customer service slipping. Or there may be an important, but non-urgent, project that isn’t getting the attention it needs.
Whatever it is, be open to bringing in a temp. People often think it takes too long to train someone, or that they won’t find a person with the skills they need. But the feedback we hear once a company has taken on a temp is, ‘I wish I had done this sooner!’
Back-fill a different role
If you have people with the right skills in your business already, why not back-fill their role? For example, your senior accounts person is going on holiday and you have an accounts assistant who is bright, eager and capable. You could spend the run-up time training the assistant – and get a temp to cover the more junior role. This not only means you now have two people capable of performing a role, but you’re also providing an opportunity for the more junior person to step up and extend their skills.
Take the time to get it right
When a permanent staff member leaves you may want to take the opportunity to restructure a team, redefine the areas of responsibility or simply seek feedback from others before deciding on the type of person needed to fill the vacated role. Taking on a temp allows you the time to get things right, without slowing the business down with an empty seat. And you never know, your temporary person may just be ideal for your permanent opportunity.
Another way a temp can free up some time is when someone in the business is keen to try a new role, but you’re just not sure it will be the right career path for them. For example, someone may show an interest in stepping into sales from sales support, or moving from administration to accounts. To give that person time to see if they like (and will succeed) in the new role, you can hire a temp to cover the original position for a set period of time.
Make sure you’re prepared
So, you’ve made the decision to get a temp – now you need to get the most out of them. We recommend that you set a list of priorities for what you want that person to achieve. Everyone needs to know what’s required of them, temps are no different.
Ensure you train them properly. Allow hand-over time, if possible, and have someone allocated as their ‘go-to’ person for questions and clarification. Investing in training time will make a temp more efficient.
Communicate with your temp and treat them as part of the team – the more they enjoy it, the more flexible, willing and productive they’ll be. What’s more, they may have valuable feedback and insight for you.
All in all, temps are an excellent way to manage growth periods and other busy times. You can achieve more and have the flexibility to manage your business at your pace.
If you have a need and you think that a temp could be the answer, do make contact with us – we’d be delighted to discuss your business needs and to suggest ways in which our temps can support your business.