Posted by Robert Half on 19 June 2017
While most small and medium-sized businesses accept the wisdom of long-range operational planning, many fail to see the benefits of a big-picture staffing approach. A flexible staffing strategy can serve your organisation's needs day in and day out.
The dangers of a rigid staffing strategy
On the surface, it would seem that hiring and laying off employees is a natural reaction for companies trying to continually adjust employee headcount to match business opportunities. But the unfortunate result is a demoralising, disruptive cycle of hiring, then layoffs, followed by more hiring.
A better approach is the use of a flexible staffing model that entails creating a dynamic mix of permanent employees and highly skilled temporary professionals. It enables companies of all sizes to nimbly increase of decrease their hiring needs based on workload demands.
Instead of a vacancy or sudden new project causing you to automatically find a replacement hire or hire additional permanent employees, a flexible recruitment strategy allows you time to think more holistically. It gives you a chance to consider how your needs may have changed since a position was last filled or whether a new project is best addressed with 100 percent permanent roles or a mix of permanent and interim resources so you can attract the right skills your business needs.
Flexible recruitment strategy advantages
Following are six major advantages of a flexible staffing strategy for small businesses:
You save money. Maintaining a mix of permanent and contract employees enables you to turn some of your fixed personnel costs into variable expenses by paying only for the talent you need when it's truly needed. In addition, you'll lower the high costs associated with hiring and training new employees, while reining in overtime expenses.
You improve your competitive position. A flexible recruitment strategy gives you more control over your headcount. That translates to an advantage over competitors whose rigid labour structure makes them more vulnerable to economic highs and lows.
You improve retention. A temporary/permanent mix provides a buffer for core employees within the organisation during a downturn. When employees see they are valued through increased job security and satisfaction, and support from temporary colleagues, it can help boost retention.
You free up permanent employees. Tapping the talents of temporary professionals to assist with day-to-day team responsibilities allows core staff to pursue more complex challenges and occasionally take time off to recharge as well.
You can 'try out' potential hires. A flexible recruitment plan allows you to observe and evaluate temporary professionals you've engaged and determine their potential fit with your core team. Having the opportunity to assess a potential employee firsthand provides far more insight to their cultural fit.
You don’t have a specialist, but you need one. If an initiative requires specialised, technical knowledge that you don’t have in-house, you can find project or interim professionals with extensive skills in these areas, many of whom have chosen this career option because of the flexibility and variety of assignments it offers.
Consider partnering with a recruitment agency
You may be wondering, "I'm sold on creating a flexible recruitment plan, but where do I find temporary employees? Ideally, I'd like some help in hiring permanent employees too, because recruiting is so time-consuming."
Experts at a specialised recruitment consultancy can help you locate top temporary, interim and permanent professionals far more quickly and successfully than you could on your own. The best firms have years of experience placing candidates who are motivated to perform and well-suited to a particular workplace culture.
Top-tier recruitment firms typically have access to a large pool of candidates and can swiftly pull together a set of candidate profiles for you to choose from, expediting the hiring process. Working with a recruitment agency can help you figure out what mix of professionals you need, including permanent, part-time, or temporary staff. Savvy recruitment professionals often identify candidates who aren’t actively looking for a new job, but might be interested in working for you as well which is particularly useful when seeking professionals in the current UK skills shortage.
Contact us for help implementing a flexible recruitment strategy. We can bring in professionals with the skills you need, without increasing your fixed costs.