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The world of interim specialists is as wide and varied as the world of work itself. With a talent pool of engaged candidates ready and available to start work immediately in many cases, the question is: how will your business benefit from using interim specialists?
Michael Page and our specialised recruitment consultants are on hand to answer your questions and guide you through the interim worker recruitment process.
What function do interim specialists serve?
Picture this: you have already built your team of permanent employees and are happy with the way they are performing. However, as we all know, the only constant in business is change. And how you deal with this change will affect your team and your company’s performance.
Interim specialists serve many different functions for an employer, dependent on your needs and operational objectives.
As Meta de Koning, Executive Associate with Michael Page, explains, “Interim specialists can bring new skills to your team or help build up or deepen existing skill sets. They allow time for you to evaluate the skills you need to take your team to the next level, or simply the next delivery.” she says. “And vitally, they are a highly cost-effective way for you to manage your businesses ever evolving needs and priorities as you only pay for what you use.”
The general view on interim specialists is that they are great to help cover sickness, maternity leave or general absence. However, there are many further reasons why interim specialists can add value to your team. For example, how would you cope with a key customer moving a delivery deadline?
Meta de Koning believes that all businesses can benefit from using flexibility in their workforce, as she explains. “Of course, you could reassign existing members of your team to cover the workload, but what would happen to their workload as they help to cover the absence,” she asks. “The skills and experience a quality interim worker can add to your team is definitively measurable – in terms of team stress, meeting deadlines, cost-effectiveness and upskilling, amongst others.”
Interim specialists give employers like you the scope to test out new technical and soft skills in the framework of your team, to better understand how to further drive productivity.
“If the interim worker proves to be a good match, and the skills they have add value to the company, that employee can then potentially become a ‘temp-to-perm’ hire as the term is known,” explains Meta de Koning. “Alternatively, if not a good match, the interim employees’ contract can simply run out leaving both parties able to find something or someone more suitable, “she concludes.
Start-ups and NGOs also have great use for interim specialists as they can help to expand teams without adding expensive permanent employees when, for example, the company is waiting for further funding rounds or an input of capital.
The overall role of interim specialists in any business has in general hugely expanded. As Meta de Koning explains, the roles and responsibilities of an interim worker has changed in recent years. “Initially they performed lower paying positions, such as assistants or general admin employees. Now interim specialists do accounting, marketing, IT engineering, management roles – the list is almost as endless as the permanent roles that exist, “she says.
The only real question is when will you use the interim workforce to help you deliver on your objectives?
Below we detail some specific times when our clients have asked us to help them find interim employees to help their business:
Illness, maternity, sabbatical, etc.
ERP, discipline specific, reorganisation, outsourcing, M&A, startup, legislation, etc.
Seasonal business: year-end close, Christmas period, etc.
Otherwise known as a ‘wait and see’ period
They can fill in until a long-term replacement can be hired
These questions will help you better understand your needs when it comes to hiring interim specialists, by framing their use in terms of department need and your rationale for using them.