Is your workforce flexible enough?

Is your workforce flexible enough?

If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that there is no right number of staff for any given business… or at least not one that you can be completely confident in. What worked for most employers in April 2019, almost certainly didn’t a year later. That got us thinking… is our workforce flexible enough? Is anyone’s?

Why it’s important to keep your workforce flexible

An agile workforce, one that can pivot or react to changing circumstances, is crucial in today’s working landscape. It benefits the employer, it benefits the employees, and above all it benefits the business. Here’s how:

  1. Access to talent
    Rigid hours with a fixed workforce could mean you’re missing out on skilled, specialist talent that would boost your business. Think a project manager that lives interstate, a consultant working a temporary contract, or an experienced parent who can only commit to part-time employment. The ability to tap into these kinds of resources is a major advantage for any organisation.
  2. It’s cost-effective
    Short-term workers are just that; not in it for the long-haul. They’re there for as long as you want them to be, and it’s less likely that workers will call in sick.
  3. Agility
    Okay, we already mentioned this one, but that’s because it’s important! In today’s world, where the customer is king, and increasingly expects immediate resolutions, being able to scale staff up or down to meet your business needs is a must.

Do you need to be more flexible?

There are some easy steps you can take to determine if you need a more flexible workforce. We’re talking stuff you can start today.

The first surrounds reporting. Ideally, you have a base-line idea of how many staff you need on any given day. Now it’s time to put it in writing. Keep track of how many staff were on each day, and whether you were able to complete tasks or service customers at an optimal level. If not, you may need to adjust.

Speak to your staff, and customers! Customer feedback can be extremely beneficial, as we discussed in an earlier blog, but they’re not the only ones who can give you feedback. Your customers, or staff, may have some ideas about better optimising your workforce… but there’s only one way to find out.

Finally, rinse and repeat. These tips are awesome for establishing whether you need to flex now, but the best way to stay on top of your business’ needs is to constantly review and update over time.

Consider this: labour hire and contract agencies.

Not everyone is able to make those changes immediately; if that sounds like your situation, then labour hire could be for you! Labour hire and contract agencies are incredible tools for employers, one that can help you scale up your workforce efficiently, effectively and at reduced cost.

Labour hire refers to the process of contracting employees on a short-term basis. If you need more staff, you get more staff, and you can choose how long they work for you. The best part is, being able to easily deal with changes in demand isn’t even close to the best part!

Labour hire and contract agencies exist to match qualified, skilled staff with employers who need them. You can feel confident knowing that the person you’re investing in is capable and work-ready. Speaking of investment, this process reduces the costs involved in hiring new staff. You don’t need to waste time reviewing resumes, checking references, or going through a lengthy interview process; labour hire does that work for you.

How to determine what you need

So, you’ve decided on labour hire. You’re ready to call and request some guns for hire, but now you need to work out what you need! Not to worry; we’ve got you covered. Here’s a template you can consult, before you consult a labour hire company or contract agency. There are various mathematical formulas that claim to definitively answer how many employees you need, but all businesses are different, and maths is hard! Instead, ask yourself these six questions; it will better help you (and the labour hire company) fulfill your needs.

Whether it’s ensuring your current workforce is equipped for any challenge or employing the use of a labour hire company or contract agency to scale when needed, there’s no drawback to having a flexible workforce.

If you’d like more tips and information on building a business, we’ve got more resources here. If you would like any assistance finding the right employee for your business, a My Pathway recruiter can help. Contact us today!