Here’s why we practise what we preach when it comes to hiring temporary staff
By: Lorna, CEO & Founder, redwigwam
Tapping into the skills of temporary staff can provide organisations with freedom, flexibility, and a pool of incredibly talented individuals. We should know, because we hire them, too.
In generations gone by, the notion of flexible working was something of an alien concept. It is only since the turn of the 21st century that we have asked serious questions of the system in which we had become entrenched.
Of course, there are many millions of people around the globe who gain great satisfaction from finding a career and pursuing it until retirement age – and that is something to be admired and respected. However, the arrival of new, disruptive digital technologies has shown the working world that we no longer need to think in linear terms. The way we consume media, the way we shop, the way we interact with each other, and the way we earn money – all can be done in myriad ways.
At the forefront of this is the generation we know as Millennials: young people who have only ever known a world filled with choice and versatility. But older people, too, can embrace the opportunities that flexible, temporary work can offer them. From return-to-work parents to the retired, it is possible for anyone to work as little or as often as they choose with redwigwam.
But what kind of business can benefit from a temporary workforce? Well . . . us!
At redwigwam, we are proof that a lean, tight team can benefit from the support of a talented pool of temporary work talent. With a permanent staff of less than 20 full-time employees, the nature of our business requires us to flex our resources up and down on a regular basis to accommodate the needs of both the workers and the hirers we serve.
From running payroll for our 130,000 registered workers to manning our Live Chat system during busy periods, we meet the ever-changing levels of demand in real-time through a network of temporary staff. We promise our customers that we can deliver a comprehensive service at any time of day. And it is only by having access to a pool of the right kind of expertise through our online system that we can meet that guarantee.
For the workers who take on roles with redwigwam, this means they can be making a living or simply topping up their income at the times of day that are most convenient to them.
For mums and dads that may involve completing tasks around the school run and domestic chores; for students, it may mean taking on shifts that complement their university or college schedules; and for retired people, it can mean topping up pensions and savings accounts at expensive times of year – such as in the run-up to Christmas or ahead of an extravagant holiday.
Many of our own workers tell us that redwigwam enables them to enjoy a diverse and varied working week. A member of the team may spend 10 hours a week manning our Live Chat system, followed by another 10 hours spent participating in mystery shopping experiences or field marketing activities.
Like many businesses, we see seasonal change in our line of work. And our resource requirements are in constant flux due to the nature of our industry. While it is impractical to employ permanent staff who can’t be guaranteed a workload, using our own platform allows us to support and expand on in-house resources so that we need never miss a business opportunity.
It is this sentiment that many of our hirers identify with. Keeping a small close-knit in-house team helps to negate risk within a company but it can also limit an organisation’s ability to seize an opportunity and scale-up quickly. With our support, businesses from across a range of industries from retail to hospitality, manufacturing to office admin can ensure that their clients and customers are never let down.
Today, there are a huge number of roles and responsibilities that can be executed by workers on a temporary basis. Individuals have the power to balance their career alongside their family commitments or simply add variety and flexibility to their working life.
Similarly, companies benefit from the same flexibility at their end. They are able to bring in expertise as and when required to meet increases and decreases in demand.
While many of our hirers work in sectors traditionally associated with part-time or temporary staff – such as the hospitality sector – temporary roles and, dare we say it, “gig” work stretches can now stretch into all industries and sectors. Thanks to advancements in digital technologies and online services, customers are now no longer bound to 9/5 hours. And this means that businesses must often find a way to extend their service beyond those hours, too.
It’s only fair
One common misconception about temporary work and short-term roles is that there is a price to pay for less formal employment terms. We are passionate about not only filling job roles where they are required but also doing the right thing by all involved in a working relationship: the hirer, the worker, and, yes, the taxman!
Through our “It’s Only Fair” campaign we are promoting the importance of creating a safe, fair, and transparent working environment that is sustainable over time. Temping and gig work are notorious for compromising on worker rights yet we have shown that it is possible to provide flexible, temporary employment on fair terms – a reasonable wage, pension contributions, holiday pay – whilst also contributing to society as a whole by meeting National Insurance requirements.
In a tough economic climate with so much uncertainty, employers have every right to be risk-averse and look closely at their in-house resources. But that shouldn’t mean that they can’t embrace an opportunity when it arises. Nor should it mean that they take on temporary staff who aren’t adequately remunerated for their efforts.