Engaging temporary workers post COVID-19
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Engaging temporary workers post COVID-19

11 August 2020 By Taz Moosa - Recruitment and Onboarding Manager at People Pool

temporary workers

As we begin to emerge from the government imposed COVID-19 lockdown and the public sector starts to reflect on the challenges faced, the opportunities this has presented and how decision makers then factor these into the changing landscape.

Although all local authority services were affected in some way, Councils have had to continue to provide core services across their children’s and adults, education (in some format or another), street services (refuse collection, street cleaning, etc) among a host of many other core services. We can be forever grateful to our local councils and their employees for working tirelessly as key workers (proving that it isn’t just the NHS that deserves our praise).


As part of the World Economic Forum’s “Shaping the Future of the New Economy and

Society Platform” project they conducted a whitepaper on “The Promise of Platform Work: Understanding the Ecosystem”, which looks to define what the gig/agency economy looks like in the wider context of services and to provide regulatory context, emerging solutions and opportunities/protections for temporary staff. Some of the key findings were interesting, especially where it related to what is driving the freelance economy and they found that this was mostly made up of:


  • Free agents: primary income for independent workers who did this by choice (approx. 30%)
  • Casual earners: secondary income for those who are supplementing their primary income (approx. 40%)
  • Provisionals: independent workers who feel trapped and would like a permanent role (approx.14%)
  • Financially strapped: those that have to use an independent role to supplement their income but would prefer not too (approximately 16%)


This shows that, although there are a wide range of experienced candidates who choose to work independently, there are a number of those who feel they have no choice but to work independently and who shy away from more permanent roles. While independent work provides flexibility, an increase in hourly rate/salary and variety of employment there are also significant challenges to face, including:


  • Lack of benefits/protections
  • Lack of job security
  • Lack of training/development
  • Lack of promotion opportunities (leading to monotonous/unfulfilling roles)
  • Imbalance of power between hiring organisations and candidates


Over the last two years or so public sector buying organisations have identified this area of supply and have tried to design approved framework routes to market to help local authorities access the right talent, at a fair price and with the right balance of protections/benefits.


However, decision makers charged with developing these frameworks haven’t factored in a number of pressing issues that could affect the success of this and may undermine local council efforts to improve their recruitment, deployment and retention of independent and agency staff.


This failure to recognise that local councils will need support, expertise and partnership working to ensure that solutions meet their needs leaves authorities recognising the need to move away from traditional vendors models and towards a direct sourcing (or talentpool) solution but without the understanding of the current landscape to be able to maximise their success.


Talentpooling presents local councils with an unrivalled opportunity to wrestle control of their temporary staffing away from traditional vendors/agencies and start to tailor solutions to their own peaks and troughs.


By using staff only when they need to and enabling them to engage directly with free

agents/casual workers (who enjoy the flexibility), while engaging the provisionals/financially strapped (approximately 26% of the independent workforce) for longer term, more secure or permanent opportunities.


As a provider of Resourced Talentpool Solutions, People Pool can provide the technology, support services, resourcing support and benefits package that can give local councils an alternative route to finding and retaining talent in a challenging landscape, where costs needs to be balanced against delivery of services now or in the near future. Find out more about People Pool here.

For further information and guidance regarding the current recruitment sector during COVID-19, get in touch with our HR Services team now. If you enjoyed this read, you can find more blogs provided by our supplier, People Pool, and other recruitment sector updates here

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