Keeping organizations running smoothly is more important than ever, and an experienced staffing firm can be a valuable resource for filling talent gaps or handling special projects. As organizations embrace the hybrid staffing model, there are several things we recommend to help develop a strong partnership with your interim staffing partner and, ultimately, ensure the success of any project. Most of these tips can apply to internal special project teams, as well.
Define your project needs.
Before opening discussions with a firm, determine your goals and metrics. Will you consider an assignment a success if the consultant simply completes the tasks as outlined at the start of the engagement, or do you need someone who can take on new projects as priorities change? Will an independent, task-oriented expert suffice; or would a team-focused employee with an improvement mindset be a better fit?
Consider what you need from a temporary staff member.
The questions you may ask when interviewing for a permanent role are not always applicable to interim resources. You likely don’t need to know where a temporary employee plans to be in five years, for example, but you do need to understand their technical aptitude and work style. Review the questions you plan to ask when meeting with prospective consultants and adapt them to be relevant to each temporary need. Your talent provider will likely facilitate this process and provide their expertise regarding key requirements for different roles.
Rethink location requirements.
As remote work has become the norm in recent months, you may now feel more comfortable with employees working from home. If you typically require staff to spend some amount of time on-site, it could be beneficial to reconsider whether or not it’s truly necessary. An effective staffing partner should be able to provide consultants capable of managing their own workloads to meet expectations, whether they work remotely or in your office.
Set reasonable expectations.
When outlining essential qualifications for your project, narrow your “must-haves” list to the top three to five skills, separating additional characteristics into a list of preferences. You don’t want to lose time looking for the single professional with an exact combination of specific competencies that may not all be critical for your project, if they exist at all. After determining the level of expertise required, craft your budget accordingly.
Develop realistic timelines.
Take a close look at your anticipated start date. Will onboarding materials be ready? Will your staff trainer be available? Additionally, estimate the duration of the project. A contract worker may have other commitments, and sharing a realistic end date enables your staffing partner to find the best professional for the assignment.
Get ahead of potential obstacles.
When you meet with a talent provider to discuss a need, share technology requirements early on, as this may affect sourcing strategies and onboarding timelines. Setting up system access and completing background checks can also slow down the process; determine your company’s requirements and share these with your staffing partner. Any other specifications unique to your company should also be relayed before outreach efforts begin.
Prepare involved parties to respond quickly and completely.
The biggest delays often come as a result of misalignment with decision-makers. Find out who will need to weigh in throughout the process. Then, ensure responsible parties understand when they’ll be required to contribute and how quickly they’re expected to respond. The market is still relatively tight, so this will ensure you don’t lose out on the best insurance talent due to internal delays.
Prioritize consistent communication.
The most important feature of a successful partnership is effective communication, both internally and with your staffing firm. Communicating in a timely manner is essential throughout an engagement to ensure ongoing alignment. Further, sharing continual feedback allows your talent partner to proactively adjust to meet your needs and better serve you in the future, ultimately aiding your company in achieving your enterprise goals.
The right staffing partner can enable you to be nimble and quickly adapt to changing talent needs. By establishing your goals and setting clear expectations, you’ll be able to leverage interim resources who can immediately make an impact.
This article was originally published by The Jacobson Group