The majority of business leaders understand the benefits of flexible staff solutions. Still, it can be challenging for any organisation to actually create or implement a versatile and adaptative staffing strategy.
Making major staffing changes in response to an increase in workload or new business opportunities may seem like common sense. However, companies can experience several challenges if the staffing strategy isn’t adaptable enough, such as high turnover rates and a general lack of employee engagement.
Rather than relying solely on permanent employees, it is preferable to use a staffing strategy incorporating temporary staffing solutions to adjust the workforce size and meet current demand with ease. Read on to learn more about flexible staffing solutions and how they can benefit organisations.
Why use flexible staff solutions?
The global marketplace is highly unpredictable and organisations must be able to respond to situations as they arise. Flexible staffing allows employers to hire the people they need when needed without being limited by the costs of hiring a full-time employee.
Flexible staff solutions can be implemented whenever a key staff member resigns, or a new project arises. The option to hire staff on a temporary or permanent contract enables organisations to respond immediately to unexpected changes in workload and maintain the skill levels and capacity required for optimum performance.
Flexible staffing solutions can also provide a highly effective solution to the complex staffing requirements that arise during seasons of fluctuating demand, such as the Christmas season, or during peak periods when business is booming.
By offering organisations the flexibility to change the structure of their workforce without having to go through a complicated and costly process of re-advertising jobs and making job offers, flexible staffing solutions can reduce costs as well as improve employee morale. Further benefits of a flexible staffing solution include:
- Hiring on-demand to meet time-sensitive or project-based staffing requirements.
- Lowering the high costs of recruiting and training new hires while reducing overtime pay.
- Gaining an edge over the competition, which may be less able to respond quickly to shifting market conditions if their workforce is less adaptable.
- Building a large workforce while maintaining flexibility to reduce staff numbers when business slows.
- Hiring highly skilled or specialised staff temporarily to work on specific projects and assignments.
- Increasing staff retention as the organisation can hire through experienced staffing agencies with high-quality candidate pools.
- Increasing employee morale as they have more support during times of higher workloads and pressure.
- Reducing the time taken to fill vacancies, as employers can find appropriate skills quickly and easily.
Flexible staffing can help organisations reach their financial, operational and quality objectives by aligning the right people with the right skills in the right place at the right time. The leaders of an organisation can rest easier knowing that their company is protected from uncertainty while being able to fully capitalise on opportunities for growth and expansion.
How to effectively implement flexible staff solutions
The recent economic downturn has flooded the job market with an influx of talent in some industries while others are battling with a talent shortage. Most industries are still working to rebuild their talent pools. However, bringing on board the “best available” talent is no longer enough. Companies must also understand how to implement flexible staffing solutions effectively and plan for growth with a realistic talent acquisition strategy.
Building a flexible workforce that can adapt to changing business needs and market conditions is essential in today’s highly volatile marketplace. It requires in-depth planning to identify the company’s current and future staffing requirements and a higher level of expertise to conduct the staffing process effectively.
Here are a few tips that organisations can consider when looking to implement flexible staffing solutions:
Understand the organisational context
It is vital to understand what is driving the need for flexibility. Is it driven by technology, external markets, or a more fluid organisational structure? Companies can implement a successful flexible staffing solution only if the key decision makers in the organisation are familiar with all aspects driving the need for flexible staffing. Often, an audit or organisational analysis might be required.
Developing a staff solutions strategy
Developing a flexible staffing strategy involves:
- Mapping the essential responsibilities and processes in your organisation.
- Determining the level of flexibility needed for each of these processes.
- Deciding whether the company requires temporary or permanent staffing.
Employers can identify gaps in the existing workforce based on employees’ skills and capabilities, current staff levels and long-term workforce needs while outlining any potential redundancies that may arise from hiring new staff.
Review current and potential roles
Although this is part of the broader staffing strategy, it can be more helpful to identify if the existing roles are being fulfilled effectively and whether there is a need to create new positions. Ask whether any of the current team members can take on additional responsibilities, whether the business needs to make a new role to support the growth, or whether the company can reallocate the current staff accordingly.
Understanding any legislative requirements
Understand which legislation the company is subject to based on the chosen staffing model. This will help inform employers about any legislative changes and the obligations of hiring staff on a temporary or permanent basis. For example, employers will have different obligations for pay and benefits regarding temporary employees compared to permanent employees.
Determine a budget for the staff solutions process
Ensure that the budget includes all potential costs associated with running an effective staffing process (internal or external): including the costs for advertising of vacancies, candidate screening, conducting job interviews and offering wages. These factors will impact what roles the company can recruit for and what compensation, training and additional support the company can offer.
Develop a clear communication structure
When implementing a flexible staffing strategy, aligning the existing team members, stakeholders and all other relevant people inside and outside the business is essential. The goal is for everyone to be aware of the changes in the workforce relationships and to communicate expectations for any new roles or tasks that have been created. HR can also develop communication structures to foster ongoing collaboration across the business and fully realise the benefits of a flexible staffing strategy.
Motivating and engaging existing and new talent
Maintaining a high-performing team fulfilling their roles requires company leaders to motivate and encourage current and new employees. Every worker should feel driven to play a more significant part in the organisation as a valued team member with their voice heard and contributions recognised. Offering training and development programs can ensure the company builds a flexible workforce that can stay organised and work in harmony across departments while interacting efficiently with clients, suppliers and external stakeholders.
As discussed in this blog, implementing flexible staffing solutions can create a business environment that is adaptable and responsive, boosting company productivity and improving your organisation’s output. It will help companies stay ahead of the competition by maintaining the flexibility to adapt their operations to changes in market conditions and ensuring that every staff member is effectively engaged and maximising their potential.
MASA is here to help forward-thinking companies develop flexible staffing solutions tailored to their business needs. We work alongside clients in various industries to solve their workforce problems and support their organisations with a readily available pool of qualified candidates across all skill levels and areas of expertise.
Contact us to connect with the leading temporary and permanent employment specialists offering the best staffing solutions in South Africa.