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Making the most out of the interim market
As is the case for many UK industries, the market is in short supply of top talent. Consumer demands are changing, pressure on operations is increasing, and in order to compete, businesses are increasingly investing in technology, network re-configuration, and site efficiencies. Where both successful project delivery and minimal disruption to operations is imperative, the market is relying heavily on interim professionals.
In addition to this, the uncertainty of Brexit is causing concern right across the UK. Businesses that are operating time-critical supply chains that rely on imports may look to temporarily, or permanently increase their storage capacity to cover any potential delays. This may not necessarily be through additional storage, but through increasing existing site capacity and better utilising what they already have. This requires the expert insight and management skills of an experienced professional, and often means calling on additional talent with a proven track record, to provide an immediate and impactful temporary solution.
To ensure we can best advise our clients on the ever-evolving logistics landscape, we’ve explored the benefits and challenges of hiring interim staff in today’s market.
The benefits and challenges of hiring interim staff
When considering the difficulty of hiring the right full-time talent, it is logical for businesses to give their existing staff the opportunity to expand their skill set, and take on new projects or additional work. However, increasing an individual’s workload due to a gap in skills in the organisation, or awarding someone with minimal project experience a high value/high-risk change programme can have a detrimental effect on productivity and the quality of work. Where a project involves high risk and investment, taking on a specialist interim with relevant and proven experience can be the best way to mitigate this and ensure successful delivery.
Hiring an interim to cover a position or lead a project is a great way to support the business at short notice without adding to the headcount. It is a highly efficient and flexible solution. Not to mention, this also allows you time to see potential candidates in action, and can sometimes lead to a permanent member of staff joining the team.
A common challenge when hiring interim staff is the speed required to fill the post. Dedicated contractors are well networked and often have a plan in place for their next assignment. If you are looking for a candidate who is immediately available, you should expect them to have multiple opportunities on the go. It is crucial to have a streamlined recruitment process in place to avoid any delays.
How to spot a great interim professional
A great interim professional can be hard to come by, especially if you are working with niche projects or looking for a specific skill set. Here are some aspects to consider when hiring for an interim position.
- Available to interview and begin a new role at short notice.
- Willing to travel to interview for the role.
- Positive references from previous assignments to demonstrate successful completion.
- Relevant qualifications, such as Six Sigma, PRINCE2, and MBA. These demonstrate a commitment to developing their own skill set as an interim worker.
Once you have identified a candidate that you would like to interview, act quickly to secure a meeting. With interim professionals in high demand, competition is fierce and a slow process may very well mean you lose out on your ideal candidate to a competitor.
How can you appeal to interim talent?
It is becoming increasingly important for businesses to recognise how they can appeal to top talent and stand out from the competition. Here are some of the best ways to attract the top interim talent in today’s market.
1. Avoid fixed-term contract arrangements
Many dedicated contractors have worked through an Ltd business for a number of years, and moving into a salaried agreement is not commercially viable. Limiting your search in this way will potentially cut off over half of the candidate pool available to you.
2. Uphold a good reputation
Reputation is a key factor in top talents’ decision-making process. The market for dedicated contractors is limited, and networking between them is vast. A reputation for interviewing interim professionals with no intention of hiring, can result in reluctance in others that may be considering your organisation.
3. End-to-end assignments
Understandably, interim professionals prefer to work on the entire assignment rather than coming in halfway through. Career interims often feel as though they can add the most value to a longer-term assignment rather than short term. If you have agreed on a project, engage with an interim sooner rather than later. This way, they will be involved from the beginning and the project will get off to a better start.
If you are looking to recruit in your sector get in touch with one of our specialist recruitment consultants today.