Why You Should Hire Supply Chain Interim Staff?
In an ideal business world, you have recruited and hired all the full-time staff you need, who, between them have all the necessary skills, expertise and knowledge of Supply Chain Management for all your business needs. Well, more often than not, the reality is, in the ever-changing global climate that your business functions within, there may be times you may not always have the skills and expertise at hand that you require. A viable option that is rapidly gaining momentum and a positive reputation is the hiring of interim staff – or temporary / contract staff – as it is commonly referred to. There are many benefits why hiring an interim supplier within the Supply Chain industry can prove to be the best solution – here I discuss my 7 reasons.
1. Immediate Hiring to fill a skills gap
Despite your best efforts, there may be times when you just cannot find the right supply chain professional to hire on a permanent basis. Rather than rush into hiring the second best candidate it may be better to hire a specialist, qualified interim staff member. Not only will it provide an immediate solution of filling in the required skills gap but can bring a wealth of knowledge and experience from their previous contracting jobs thus potentially adding unexpected value to the business and work which can carry on benefitting your business long after they have left. Furthermore, if hiring via a specific recruitment agency such as MichaelPage, candidates would already be vetted by the agency to fit the requirements you are looking for thus eliminating the recruiting/vetting process.
2. You can evaluate their potential without commitment
You may have seen from the experience of interviewing potential candidates, that whilst on paper they fit the bill in terms of their qualifications, in reality they may not have any work experience of the practical application of their knowledge. This could be a hindrance in the smooth running of your business as a lot more time and resources are being invested in their training to bridge the gap in working knowledge before seeing a return in profit for your investment in their recruitment. By hiring interim staff, you can see how they work, their commitment, what they can offer the organisation as well as whether they work well with your permanent staff. All this without either party being tied down to a permanent contract. You can potentially gain an insight of how they can fit into the organisation on a permanent level without the making that all-important commitment.
3. Cover short / long term or sudden absences / emergencies
A normal expectation within any organisation is the fact that permanent staff may be on leave – short term can be annual leave with multiple staff off (such as summer or Christmas holidays) or short-term sick leave and long-term absence such as maternity / disability or long-term illness. In these times, hiring interim staff will not only provide relief for the remaining permanent staff but also boost motivation and morale due to the reduction of pressure, as they will be experienced, knowledgeable supply chain professionals.
4. Increase profitability and efficiency
By hiring an interim staff for specific projects you can re-direct and focus on ensuring your permanent staff build their skills and training in the areas that are required long-term. Not only will this build confidence in your staff in terms of not spreading their skills out thinly whereby they cannot fully focus on any particular job as they are continually covering additional work but also have time to develop specialists’ skills that can be called upon when required. As a business, this solution will also allow you to keep your internal resources focused on your business, your need to have a knowledgeable supply chain planner working with you to deliver supply chain results. Additionally, hiring an interim planner or buyer can benefit the team as a whole as they can work with the permanent team on supply chain strategy, creating business and supply chain plans, manage suppliers, create supply chain analysis and expedite parts to maintain delivery and inventory targets.
5. Cater for short term / single / seasonal projects – Flexibility
When you have projects that require specialist expertise, it would be beneficial to hire interim, qualified staff that are highly specialised in the field required. They can bring a wealth of experience and knowledge, a fresh perspective as well as the commitment that not only can provide the solution quickly but also in a time efficient manner. By taking this option, you allow yourself flexibility to hire according to when you business demands this.
6. Cost Effective and Time Efficient
The hiring of interim staff cost may not appear so dissimilar to the hourly rate you pay your permanent staff on paper, but whilst permanent staff are paid a salary regardless of whether there is a lot of work or not, interim staff really will be paid for what they do and once their work / project / assignment is complete they can be let go thus you do not incur unnecessary further costs. Interim staff are effectively business people in their own right – their profit and future work depends on their competency of completing the work you have hired them for. What they do or do not do will directly affect their future work and reputation as reliable independent workers. So, whilst it may appear that comparatively the cost to hire them may not be too different to hiring a permanent member of staff, their motivation is on a personal level. If they complete the work to a high standard and to the deadline, they are likely to be hired again, be provided with good recommendations and references that builds and expands their portfolios and therefore increases their demand within the market. They need you as much as you need them!
7. Quick hire to cover busy periods
Aside from staff absences, there are genuine times of the year such as end-of-year auditing or physical stock taking where there is a need for instant short-term hire of additional staff due to a peak in work demands. In these times, hiring interim staff offers the relief that ensures the welfare and happiness of your permanent staff as well as the long-term smooth running of your business. This reducing of pressure and stress on permanent staff can help in keeping absenteeism at bay and maintain morale during the tough times. All in all, there are many great benefits of hiring interim, temporary staff. It is a unique working relationship due to both parties benefiting one another beyond the obvious financial aspect. With businesses becoming more and more global – the pressure to deliver on time and within budget is so great, that the interim solution is becoming an attractive option to ensure the business operations run as smoothly and as consistently as possible. It’s popularity is resulting in more and more specialist professionals signing up to provide quick solutions whilst having the freedom to work on their terms – it’s a win-win for all! Do you agree?
Dr MuddassirAhmed is the Founder & CEO of SCMDOJO. He is a global speaker, vlogger and supply chain industry expert with 17 years of experience in the Manufacturing Industry in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia in various Supply Chain leadership roles. Dr. Muddassir has received a PhD in Management Science from Lancaster University Management School. Muddassir is a Six Sigma black belt and founded the leading supply chain platform SCMDOJO to enable supply chain professionals and teams to thrive by providing best-in-class knowledge content, tools and access to experts.