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Would like to talk to us about your recruitment needs?
There are many opportunities why your business can benefit from flexible (otherwise known as temp) 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?
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 Olivier Dufour explains, “Temp workers 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.
“While temporary employee agencies and consultancies are a fast and efficient way for you to source temporary workers,” Olivier Dufour explains, “they should come with a database of potential candidates to fill your specific skill or profile need. If they don’t, maybe you need to look again, because time is always of the essence with flexible workers,” he says.
Depending on the type of profile you need, you might need to search nationally, so an agency that operates across Belgium will be able to help you find the people you require.
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 Olivier Dufour 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 flexible employees, 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.
“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,” Olivier Dufour 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 temporary recruitment agency 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.
Time is of the essence. Taking too long to respond, to book interviews and general indecision can hurt companies using flexible employees.
As Olivier Dufour 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 a flexible worker 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 a temporary or interim specialist such as Page Personnel, as they have databases of candidates for employers like you.
“Once you have found the right flexible employee for your team, you need to make sure they hit the ground running,” explains Olivier Dufour. “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.