Invest in People to get the best return

Posted: 29th April 2011

Stories of budget cuts and efficiency savings loom large in the media. Behind the screaming headlines the choices are not quite as simple as cut or not to cut, particularly when it comes to recruitment. Many employers are finding that they can achieve true value for money in some surprising ways, and it may actually be better to recruit the right person if you want to deliver real savings.

As counterintuitive as it may sound, interims – skilled professionals who come in for a fixed period – are actually helping employers cut costs. Housing associations, ALMOs and local authorities are finding that the short-term contracts can often bring significant long-term savings.

Employers look to interims for help for any number of reasons. It may be that they’re going through a period of change, which means that the organisation will look completely different in six months and may need a different set of skills. Or it might be that they have a specific time-limited project to do or have to quickly fill a role that’s business critical. In each case, they want someone who can hit the ground running and don’t want to take on somebody on a permanent basis, with all of the associated costs.

Many organisations still believe that paying an interim a daily rate costs more. But when they look more closely, doing this can often provide surprisingly good value for money. There are no additional or hidden costs associated with these individuals. These costs – such as pensions, sick leave or holiday pay – can add up to 30% on top of an employee’s salary.

And employing an interim also helps organisations avoid having to make long-term commitments. After all, laying off staff when there’s no longer a need for the role they perform can be a costly business.

Good interims, with years of experience in the housing and regeneration sectors, often prefer to work three or four days a week rather than a full five. This offers even greater value for money, especially because the organisation can still be assured that they have the skills and experience to deliver – efficiency and savings.

And that’s the benefit of getting an interim from Altair: they’re all experts in their field, with proven track records. Plus, they’re backed by us – which means they get our support. They’re part of a wider team, with full access to our network of contacts. Hiring one interim manager gives employers access to the expertise of a full team of housing professionals – now that’s real value for money.

We meet all our interims at least once a month, so they can tap into the latest market intelligence and personal connections, and draw examples of best practice from across the sector. It also means they keep their fingers on the pulse of what’s happening in the sector.

Now, perhaps more than ever, employers need highly skilled staff. Which is why more and more organisations are coming to us for help – they know our interims deliver. We don’t compete with high street temping agencies – nor would we want to. We provide quality – trusted people – not quantity.

Steve Douglas is a Partner at Altair

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