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Valerio Prati


Head of HR and Compliance

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Recruitment strategy: why temporary staff make businesses stronger


Hiring temporary workers can help cover busy periods, keep your permanent team happy and improve your customer relationships – which is why it’s an ideal solution in a fast-moving business environment.

According to the SIA Talent Study 2019, 30% of UK companies now hire temporary staff across all job levels, from managers to admin. This shows that whatever role needs filling, temporary staff have more than just the essential skills to offer the company.

Peaks in demand are one of the core drivers for hiring temporary workers. They are created by a variety of factors: product launches, mid-season sales, popular sporting events, seasonality – the list goes on.

Whilst the majority of busy periods can be planned and accounted for well in advance, there are some that come at short notice.

Managing to source highly skilled temporary staff, who truly complement permanent employees, in such a small time frame is what proves a real challenge for many businesses.

Driving demand

Even when timeframes are tight, recruiting talent for peak periods is a necessity. Otherwise, the full time staff can find themselves being placed under huge unnecessary pressure.

This can result in raised levels of stress, and lowered levels of productivity which is likely to compromise the reputation of the company and the customer experience.

Failing to manage peaks in demand can have a huge impact on the end customer.

A prime example is Black Friday, which doesn’t just affect the shops but the warehouses and courier services too. It has been well reported that couriers haven’t been able to keep up with demand during the popular shopping event.

Some retailers have struggled to keep their promise of next day delivery because they don’t have enough people processing orders, or couriers haven’t prepared for the influx of deliveries, leaving customers disappointed and feeling unvalued.

Hiring temporary workers is the obvious solution, but it hasn’t always been that easy.

Temporary is not a dirty word

There used to be a lot of stigma around temporary workers being under qualified and needing a considerable amount of training, but this is no longer the case.

Many of today’s, ‘gig’ workers have experience from top organisations around the UK.

They are often temporary workers by choice, having decided to work flexibly from a lifestyle perspective and to gain broad experience with a wide range of companies.

They place value not only on their freedom but their experiences at work. This means that the roles they accept are likely to be more meaningful to them, especially if the company has a good reputation as an employer.

Companies can take control over peaks in demand, and use the large pool of talented workers in the gig economy to secure the most ideal candidates across all levels.

Given their backgrounds, temporary staff can also bring diverse experience with them, as working in multiple companies exposes them to the most efficient ways of working across the industry – valuable knowledge which they can then pass on to permanent employees.

Finding someone with the right skills for the role adds to the quality of work from the team as a whole, boosting productivity levels as both parties feel supported by one another, and well equipped to meet the business needs.

Good on-demand staffing platforms can help you reach and sign up the staff who best fit the role, and quickly.

Dorsett Hotels often use them as a solution to peaks in demand, and recognise that the time period between advertising a job and finding experienced people is very short – something that is critical for meeting the demands of the hospitality sector.

Peak seasons

Peaks in demand aren’t just limited to hospitality. For many businesses, the level of demand fluxes seasonally, but the same benefits of hiring temporary workers apply.

A good example is Just Eat, which experiences a large spike in customer demand over the winter and inbound enquiries dramatically increase, often leaving staff struggling to answer every call.

The fast food delivery company tackles the winter peak by using on-demand job platforms to find skilled staff, from customer service to tech support.

This demonstrates how companies can take control over peaks in demand, and use the large pool of talented workers in the gig economy to secure the most ideal candidates across all levels.

Building your business

Ultimately, companies using temporary staff to prepare for peaks in demand ensure that they have a well equipped workforce which delivers consistent high quality customer experience.

The organisations who have an agreed approach to handling the peaks, along with trusted partners that provide access to the right talent, can not only expect to see high customer satisfaction levels, but also a happier permanent team.

Once the approach has been trialled, HR departments can build up a loyal pool of talented, flexible workers to pick and choose from whenever there is an increase in demand.

Interested in this topic? Read Gig economy: how to integrate it into a wider talent acquisition strategy.

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Valerio Prati

Head of HR and Compliance

Read more from Valerio Prati

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