Filling Temp Jobs to Cater For The Unexpected

  • July 01, 2020

In a climate where the only certainty is uncertainty, using temporary staff can help ensure you have the right skills to be agile and react to new opportunities as they come along, powering your business out of lockdown.

Planning your workforce at the moment is particularly challenging, especially if you still have staff who are shielding, in caring roles or who are unable to return due to childcare issues. 

More and more companies are choosing to use temps to fill the gaps and get the skills they need whilst permanent staff aren’t available.

According to the COVID-19 Jobs Outlook special published by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation in late June, a greater number of companies have said that they plan to hire temporary staff in the short term this month.

However you decide you cater for the next phase, it is certain to involve change, and  advice to businesses is to tackle workforce and people management changes in three steps: 

1) Reorganise

As people come back to work, you’ll need to reorganise to plan the resources you need for the future shape of the business. 

Review the skillsets of the current team and furloughed employees and identify where additional skills will be needed to support growth and possible diversification or a change in direction. Could temps fill these short-term gaps?

2) Resume 

No doubt you are assessing which staff can be brought off furlough, and reviewing roles and responsibilities. If continuing with furlough makes sense for those who can’t restart work for health or childcare reasons, could temps see you through until their situation or government guidelines change?

3) Reassure 

Taking care of the mental health of your workforce at this tricky time is, of course, essential. If measures aren’t already in place, it is a good idea to set up channels for staff to raise concerns, and consider steps you can take to raise morale. 

Any companies that don’t handle communications sensitively are risking damage to their company’s brand and their position as an employer of choice for years to come.

According to ‘Workforce Strategies for a Post-COVID-19 Recovery’ by Deloitte, “Organisations must plan for multiple scenarios and time horizons, as they shift from crisis response to recovery. They should also plan for the possibility of multiple waves of the pandemic and its continuing global - and uneven - footprint. For workforce strategies, organisations need to establish critical priorities for the next 12 to 24 months as they position themselves for new realities.”

Filling Temp Jobs to Cater For The Unexpected 

As the type and amount of work and, in some cases, the places where people are working change, many of our clients are making strategic use of temporary staff to ensure they have the right skills in place to meet demands.

There have been so many changes right across the supply chain, that it’s become harder than ever for companies in our local areas of Basingstoke, Andover, Camberley, Farnborough and the surrounding areas to plan. Many businesses have seen some areas of business dry up completely, whilst others have flourished in the pandemic. 

This is where the strategic use of temps can help your workforce planning.

From our conversations with local companies during lockdown, and over two decades beforehand, these are the situations where manufacturing, engineering and distribution companies in particular have told us they benefit from using temporary staff: 

Adding headcount quickly, without worrying about notice periods

Temps can enable you to quickly cater for increases in workload, for example fulfilling a large order with a tight deadline. The benefit is that you don’t have to give formal notice to end a temporary assignment therefore giving total flexibility.

Catering for seasonal peaks if you don’t wish to increase your permanent headcount

Temps can plug a skills gap in your current workforce for a set period of time, such as to cover summer holidays. 

If you’re not sure whether you need a permanent member of staff or not

You can use temporary members of staff whilst recruiting to ease the pressure during the selection process. This means you can hire the best possible candidate - even if you need to spend time finding them and then waiting for them to serve notice periods. 

You may even find that the temporary is in fact the best person for the job!

Covering absenteeism due to COVID-19 related issues or maternity leave 

There may well be staff who you plan to bring off furlough, but who aren’t able to return yet due to shielding, their own health issues (COVID-19 related or not) or childcare problems. In these instances, a temp can help fill the gap until your permanent team members are back.

Holiday cover 

With UK holidays at last back on the agenda, many people will want to use some of their allocation over the summer. Temporary staff can help if the work can’t be absorbed by colleagues.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Temps To Fill Jobs?

At times of change in particular, there are many reasons to use temps rather than taking on permanent staff. The benefits include:

  • No notice period 
  • No need to spend your time interviewing people
  • Ability to add skills dynamically as needed
  • No addition to core headcount
  • Ease of onboarding new staff

Case Study - Urgent Temps for Local Manufacturer

During the Covid-19 lockdown, period one of our manufacturing clients which serves the construction industry saw an instant decline in demand for their products due to many projects being put on hold. However with some quick lateral thinking, they pivoted their business to manufacturing beds for the NHS. This resulted in an immediate need for a high number of short-term temporary staff to ensure the very tight order deadlines were met.  

Within hours of receiving their call, we were able to supply 12 temporary members of staff. Their need for temporary staff increased daily, and each time we have been able to supply temporary staff to support them in this unexpected and unplanned peak in their business.

What Do You Need To Put in Place When Using Temporary Staff?

When you work with a local independent recruitment consultancy such as ourselves, there is very little you need to worry about other than specifying the type of people you need. 

We’ll take care of all the quality and compliance side for you, including: 

  • GDPR processes – Privacy notice and candidate consent 
  • Key information documents
  • Health and disability information relevant to the job
  • Criminal convictions declaration
  • Identity and eligibility to work checks
  • Conducting face to face interviews
  • Providing a profile of the candidates
  • Taking copies of any licenses or certificates required for the role
  • Briefing temps prior to their assignments starting
  • Regularly communicating with the temps in role once they have started

The Importance of Transparent Pricing

Not all agencies offer transparent pricing, meaning you can’t be sure how much of what you pay is actually going to the temporary worker. 

At Priority Appointments, we offer complete transparency so you can see exactly how much the worker is being paid and how much goes to other costs which are Employer’s National Insurance, pension contributions, holiday and statutory sickness pay (as defined in the Working Time Regulations) and the agency’s commission. 

If temps could be a strategic way to power your business out of lockdown, we have skilled and committed people available right now.

Do get in touch with our helpful, friendly team by calling 01256 334575 or emailing



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