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Flexible workers: powering your business objectives
There are many opportunities why your business can benefit from flexible (otherwise known as interim) workers.
You might need to boost expertise in a specialist area or for a specific mission. You might need to understand the skills you need for a new role. Maybe there has been a company-wide freeze on permanent hiring, but you still need to deliver your end-of-year financial reports.
In fact, the reasons behind using flexible workers are as unlimited as work itself – however, with more controllable costs. So, what are the key elements you need to think about when employing flexible workers?
Have you identified your recruitment needs for your upcoming projects?
A major difference between permanent and flexible hiring is your ability to scale the talent you need up or down as required, helping you control costs effectively. This means you have total control over the number of people facing a business challenge or any change in your company circumstances.
As Julien Gibert, Senior Executive Director, Michael Page Switzerland, explains, “Flexible workers such as interim managers are often niche specialists, meaning you can get the specific support you need to deliver your objectives. For example, you could be approaching an IT implementation project and need to find IT engineering specialists, or systems analysts – you will be able to find the right flexible worker for your needs.
By engaging flexible workers, you can reduce your expenditure on recruitment by avoiding the pitfalls of a bad permanent hire – and upskill your team quickly and efficiently.
Why work with a recruitment agency like Michael Page?
“An agency like Michael Page is a fast and efficient way for you to source flexible workers,” Julien Gibert explains. “Our consultants come with a database of potential candidates to fill your specific skill or profile need,” he says.
Depending on the type of profile you need, you might need to search nationally, so that our consultants, who operate across Switzerland will be able to help you find the people you require.
Have you written a job advert yet?
You need to outline the project start date and end date, or at minimum an estimation so both parties are aware of timings.
You should also be aware of the type of language you use, so as not to alienate your audience – after all, you want your job advert to be appealing to a broad audience. For example, the words ‘ninja’, or ‘guru’ are masculine and might discourage women from applying.
As Julien Gibert explains, your job advert is key in attracting people to your company, because, “get it right and you will see applications come in. Get it wrong and you will be waiting for the right people to apply. With interim managers, you need to explain the tasks they will perform in detail, the start date, and the skills you require (including soft skills). Just be as descriptive as possible,” he says.
If you are in a highly competitive market, you can also include renumeration ranges using a guide such as the Michael Page Salary Factsheets to ensure you match the market rates.
How will you attract flexible employees?
“Now you have your job advert written and ready to promote, the next question is how you will get people to see it and apply,” Julien Gibert says. “Using specialised media ads that are shown to potential candidates where they spend time online in your regional media is the best way to go. Your recruitment specialist should guide you towards the best channels to use, helping you to budget and judge potential costs depending on how long and where your advert is live,” he concludes.
Partnering with a recruitment agency like Michael Page can help boosts your ads reach as they should have an engaged audience ready for your position. Social media is also a key channel, as most people spend some time on them every day.
Be decisive and recruit
Time is of the essence. Taking too long to respond, to book interviews and general indecision can hurt companies using flexible employees.
As Julien Gibert says, speed is of the essence, because your competitors are also looking to find the perfect fit in your area quickly. As he says, “Think of it this way: any period of inactivity for an interim manager means lost earnings, and the best candidates will choose an employer that responds quickly to their time-sensitive availability. Studies highlight that flexible workers are more likely to work with an employer that responds,” he concludes.
You can keep your processes up to speed by working with an interim specialist such as Michael Page, as they have databases of candidates for employers like you.
Have you developed an onboarding process?
“Once you have found the right flexible employee for your team, you need to make sure they hit the ground running,” explains Julien Gibert, Senior Executive Director, Michael Page Switzerland. “What will really help them is a specific onboarding process for flexible workers, something that helps them understand your team, the company and who they need to help (and who will help them),” he concludes.
Ideally you will train them as if they were a permanent member of staff, but in a reduced time frame. Pull out the key areas from your standard onboarding and try to avoid information blocks by assigning a permanent employee for them to shadow for a specific period. Proper preparation at the start of the flexible workers assignment will pay dividends quickly.
Top 5 Advantages of Flexible Workers
An at a glance guide to some of the benefits for your team and company of using flexible employees.
Flexibility where and how you need it
They offer true flexibility – in terms of hours, length of contract and the skills you need
You can act quickly
Within 24-48 hours you can have a shortlist of CV’s from your recruitment partner
Remove your pain points
Eliminate peak seasonal or other pressures on your team by adding specific profiles
Highlight your team’s skills needs
During transition periods, flexible employees like interim managers can provide insights into what you really need
Do more than fill gaps
- Interim managers can provide knowledge & experience from varying sectors and industrie
Download our guide to flexible work to read how Michael Page has helped our clients meet business objectives in Switzerland using interim managers as flexible workers.
Free download available here.