The Positive Side of Short-Term Recruitment

The recruitment landscape in Cairns has shifted considerably over the past three decades. Gone are the ‘jobs for life’ and instead, we are seeing temporary and contract staffing solutions becoming more popular.

Cairns’ experienced a 2.9% Annual Trend employment growth compared to Queensland as a whole, which sits at +1.1% (source: Conus/CBC Regional Labour Force Briefing Report, December 2018) and when combined with our transient population, it is easy to understand why short-term recruitment is becoming a popular solution for employers.

We spoke to Sally Mlikota, Director CBC to find out more.

‘’Typically, we’ve seen short-term placements work exceptionally well across all levels, from administrative and entry level roles which don’t require a high level of training, through to more senior contracts which require a specific skill set, such as specialist lawyers, high level EAs and finance managers. These solutions are also a great option for employers experiencing a sudden growth in business, have a project deadline or are looking to experiment with a new service or product.

Knowing when to engage temporary staff versus filling a role with a permanent employee, can be challenging. At CBC, we have helped many clients make this choice by carefully weighing up the pros and cons of each option and providing professional recruitment advice. The advantage of having been in business for over 30 years, is that we have become an extension of our clients’ teams and are well placed to give recommendations specific to them, as opposed to talking about generic advantages and risks.

Typically, we will assess the type of skills needed and the short/midterm staffing predictions specific to that business to determine if any efficiencies can be made outside of the immediate need. We also factor in the current availability of candidates who we consider to be the right fit for the company culture. Being able to give an objective opinion without being so close to the business means that we can give an expert recommendation.

The transient nature of Cairns often means that one month there might be an over-supply of a particular skillset and the next, there could be a shortage. Seasonal variations such as Christmas will also play a part in determining whether a permanent or temporary solution would be best for our clients, as well as any upcoming public holidays or out of the ordinary business hours. Whatever the situation, we ensure that the advice we give and the solutions we offer, take all of these factors into account.’’

Sally gave us her top five ‘at a glance’ tips to consider when choosing a temporary or permanent staffing solution.

1. It’s all about the ‘fit’

A huge benefit of utilising temporary or short-term contract staff is that both the employer and employee, can make sure they are a good fit for one another.

The demand for quality staff remains unchanged – if anything, employers have become more discerning. The interview and probation periods tend to be more in-depth compared to what we have seen previously, therefore some employers prefer the flexibility that comes with hiring temporary or contract staff as a platform to assess suitability.

It may even be the case that the employer has been unable to find a permanent solution and this reduction in capacity is having a negative impact on the business.

2. Flexible workforce

By engaging staff on an ‘as needed’ basis, you are more likely to increase productivity, reduce downtime and maintain a more efficient workforce. Rather than leaning on current staff to do overtime, the addition of a temporary team member can help you successfully navigate through the increased workload.

Many of us have worked for companies which have either too many people on the team, or not enough. Both options are far from ideal and can lead to frustrations.

Some projects require specialist knowledge that may only be needed for the duration of the project. Employers have two options in this instance, either upskill the existing team or introduce a new resource. Depending on the business, timeframes and the current team’s capacity, it may be that short-term recruitment is the only option.

3. It’s good for business growth

It may be that a business is experiencing a sudden unexplained/non-seasonal growth spurt and therefore, has no option but to increase the size of the team – particularly if the company is relatively new. Whilst this is a positive ‘problem’ of success, it doesn’t mean the decision should be taken lightly.

One benefit of hiring temporary staff is that whilst the short-term cost is higher than a permanent employee, there aren’t the additional overheads such as annual leave to factor in. This is particularly important to younger businesses with a more price conscious budget.

4. Staff morale

A knock-on effect of all these considerations is the improvement to staff morale. By knowing people won’t have duties beyond their core role or area of expertise land on their desk, they will be more able to effectively plan and manage their workload, which will make them more productive and happier in the workplace.

By engaging contract and temporary staff, your business will enjoy a more flexible workforce which reduces the stress on other departments when extra workload due to annual leave or prolonged absences must be assigned to an existing member of the team.

5.   Time savings

Time is of course, money. If you added up how many hours your business has lost due to staffing challenges in the permanent workforce, the additional hourly rate for temporary staff will more than likely, have already been offset.

By stepping back and taking a holistic view of the staff you need, the function they perform, and the time required to achieve a successful outcome, your business will be better positioned for a positive result with a happy workforce, increased bottom line and a culture of working smarter not harder.

Find out more about how we support our clients in finding the perfect fit for their business.