Top five tips to get the most from your interim workforce

Lucy Edgar, lead interim and contract consultant for East of Scotland shares her thoughts on how to get the most from your interim workforce.

The value that interim or contract staff can add to the corporate workplace should never be underestimated. As the pace of organisational change increases, this workforce now plays a central function in helping finance teams to achieve their objectives.

There is a growing need for flexibility to keep the edge on the competition by allowing businesses to implement system change, respond to ever shortening year and month end reporting requirements, cover maternity leave and deal with general peaks and troughs in activity.

For many of these businesses, interim accountants play a key role in delivering the reporting timetable, driving business profitability and delivering finance change.

Since this is the case, it is surprising that there can be a sense of overall discontent and despondency amongst temporary staff in the workplace.   Businesses that spend a lot of time and money both in the recruitment of these interim professionals, their training and handover period should surely look for optimal return on investment.

But what can be done to ensure any new temporary recruit takes ownership of their role, delivers on their objectives and ultimately stays the duration of the assignment?

We’ve shared our top five tips on how best get the most from your interim workforce below:

  • Induction – It can be easy to skip a formal induction, especially if you have recruited for a short-term role. However, it is beneficial if your contractor feels a part of the team from the get go. Ensure that your interim is introduced in person to colleagues and given a brief tour of the office.  An overview of any relevant procedures, including health and safety is also useful, as is setting specific tasks for the first few days of their new role.  When finishing, they should also be thanked for their work and support.
  • Introduce – If they are supporting a business area, onsite or remote, send an email of introduction to all stakeholders so everyone in the wider business is aware of their role, who they are and how long they will be in the business
  • Stay empathetic – What do you know about your contractor’s background? It may be they are a lifestyle contractor with a track record of hitting the ground running in different organisations. Or they may be top talent who has recently been made redundant after 15 years in the same company. Put yourself in their shoes and take the time to ask them a few questions about themselves.
  • Mentor – If appropriate, look to appoint another member of the team to be a ‘go-to’ person for any minor queries that your interim may have. It can be easy for each team member to assume that this task will fall to someone else so formalising this will clarify responsibility and also help your contractor to know who they should ask for help.
  • Recruiter ‘aftercare’ – Hold your recruitment consultant to account for carrying out timely aftercare, following up with your interim placement to ensure that they are happy in the role. The interim may feel more comfortable raising concerns directly with their recruiter than with their line manager.

Get in touch with Lucy at [email protected] or on 0131 603 8111.