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How to recruit temporary staff

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Temps are essential team members and must be treated as such, says Paul Marriott

Interim and temporary workers often prove to be the most flexible solution for any organisation that wants an extra pair of hands but cannot commit to the extra headcount.

These workers enable employers such as the NHS to deal with the peaks and troughs of work and seasonal cycles. You need to ensure that you maximise the return on that investment over the duration of their contract.

As there will be unexpected peaks in demand for frontline services, organisations must have a contingency plan to make sure patient care is not affected.
Employers should tap into workforce data to predict busy periods, and work with staffing suppliers to plan a strategy that supports changing levels of demand.
Investing the time to select preferred recruitment suppliers and build relationships with them will add value and save time in the long term.

Working with expert recruiters to tap into the skills of temporary workers can enable organisations to meet objectives in an efficient and cost-effective way.
Public sector buyers of temporary and permanent staff have access to procurement frameworks that help demonstrate suppliers’ competency across the health sector and their commitment to helping them reduce costs and increase efficiency.

These frameworks can be a good place to start when looking for suppliers. They enable organisations to engage directly with providers and help line managers hire staff at transparent costs and save the time often associated with lengthy tender processes.

It is important to build partnerships with recruitment suppliers so that they can provide a solution and support resourcing needs.
High-calibre staff are in short supply so building such a strong relationship should help you improve systems so you have access to the best talent when required.

The most common mistake that employers make is viewing their interim and temporary staff as just “agency staff”. They are an essential part of the organisation; service delivery depends on their performance. It is important to engage with them and provide a thorough induction so that they understand what is expected of them and are able to support team objectives.

While public sector organisations have often been criticised by the media for the use of temporary and interim staff, they are a necessity and provide employers with the flexibility they need to run their organisation efficiently.

Paul Marriott is managing director of recruitment company Hays Healthcare, which supplies permanent and temporary staff to NHS and private care providers. He joined Hays as a trainee consultant in 1990

Tips for hiring temps
● Build a strong relationship with your recruitment partners
● Work with recruiting experts to build a talent pool of temporary and interim workers
● Pick your recruitment partners carefully - ensure your suppliers are listed on relevant procurement frameworks
● Have a plan - failure most often happens in organisations that do
not have a plan and are recruiting
in a rush

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