The rise of interim workers; benefits for employers and a new career gateway for professionals

Interim candidates have become a core solution to addressing the candidate-driven recruitment landscape.

The rise of interim workers; benefits for employers and a new career gateway for professionals


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Written by Rona Horsfall, Principal Consultant – Peak Recruitment

It’s not news that the conventional hiring landscape remains a candidate driven market, which some would say is a lingering pain point for many councils. Interim candidates have become a core solution, not only leading into an election period, where there is an immediate and ever-increasing need for quality talent, but consistently throughout the year where vacancies exist or where projects require additional resources.

Much has been written about the trend of hiring interim executives and contract workers being here to stay and this supports the approach to talent acquisition as attractive to employers and interim talent alike.

Hiring interim talent is a smart move for councils because every minute matters when there are key staffing needs, including and especially at the top. When CEOs change, the senior leadership team often turns-over as well, creating new vacancies and additional hiring needs. Remaining managers and departments are left to navigate the upheaval without a clear guide. The ‘in-demand’ interim trend is occurring at every level which provides councils with a fast and efficient solution to the talent shortage.

Benefits of hiring interim and contract workers

  • Interim executives and contract workers are easier on overheads - because contract workers can be engaged for short or long-term periods, with compensation based on the nature and length of an assignment and for the skills they bring to a particular assignment. It allows companies to sidestep the risk, cost, and commitment of hiring a permanent executive amid an uncertain economic future. Councils are using these cost savings strategically by contracting interim talent with a higher caliber than the employees they temporarily replace.
  • Many independent professionals consider contract-to-permanent jobs - working with professionals on an interim basis gives you the opportunity to ensure they’re the right cultural fit for your organisation and that they have the demonstrated performance and leadership skills you need, before you invest in a permanent hire.
  • You can fill talent gaps in days - not weeks, months, or years - one of the most challenging parts of running a council is dealing with unexpected resignations and other reasons key employees leave. Often, there is no one to pick up the slack until the position is filled, at least not without leaving gaps or strains in other areas of the operation. Overloading and adding pressure to teams when someone leaves isn’t ideal and takes away precious time companies don’t have to spare. Every minute matters, and interim contractors with the right skills can tide you and your team over until you have sufficient time to fill vacant positions.

These benefits are proven strategies that are helping Councils maintain solid business continuity and control costs.

Tips for hiring and retaining interim/contract workers

Councils can build trust and loyalty with interim employees by learning about and assisting in their long-term goals. If they are looking only for contract work, they can be useful for short-term projects or high capacity periods. If they are looking for long-term opportunities, they can be a potential temp-to-perm hire, so always consider it as an option – a strong contractor might be highly motivated by the potential of a permanent job, or their circumstances may have changed so the stability of permanent work has now become their end-goal.

As councils continue to face fast-changing needs in business, contractors and interim workers will continue to help them adapt to the markets’ demands. Designing robust attraction, onboarding and engagement strategies will assist to smooth the transition to a more flexible, contingent workforce.

Consider the following when designing an onboarding program that will suit contract workers:

  • Where in the organisation chart does this position fit? Why is this position important?
  • What are the general goals of the broader department or team? What is the culture of the team? What are the key processes and procedures?
  • Is there any extra learning or development required for this position? Who will be overseeing it?
  • What are the measurable goals of this contracting position? What will the manager expect of the contract worker?

When you need local government professionals who can fit right in and get the job done, without investing your time and resources in the traditional recruitment process, Peak Services can help. Contact us and secure interim executives and professionals who can help you keep your council moving forward.

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