Resourcing and Recruitment during COVID 19
Sandra Smart, Octopus Personnel Director, outlines how flexible resourcing will be a vital part of business strategy whilst navigating the challenges presented by COVID 19.
As each day presents new challenges caused by business disruption due to COVID 19, many companies are reviewing their contingency plans daily to try and channel vital employees and resources toward key services. How can you strategically plan to address workforce issues to ensure your business remains operational?
Flexible resourcing strategies
As part of your contingency plan, introducing more flexible resourcing strategies to maintain essential services or production in case of staffing shortages due to people becoming ill and/or self-isolating is vital. If roles can’t be performed at home and are essential, consider more innovative resourcing solutions that may need to be deployed, such as split shifts to cover essential operations or services.
Identify the level of skill needed for each role. Could deploying a temporary member of staff here reduce the strain on skilled employees who may need to be deployed in multiple roles? Having a flexible team that you can allocate and deploy differently as people need to self-isolate is vital.
Use technology to bridge the gap
Maximise the use of technology to facilitate remote contact, for example, video conferencing to facilitate remote meetings. Use Microsoft Teams or other online software to facilitate communication between departments or shifts, reducing the need for face to face communication wherever possible. This allows personnel switching between departments to quickly get up to speed on issues they will be facing, or contribute ideas to challenges which others may be facing in a role they have previously undertaken. Create an online knowledge ‘pool’ that all team members can access.
Manage transitions between staff
Carry out a resourcing risk assessment of the organisation, identifying essential areas of the business where few employees have the required skills. Training additional employees in these skills should be considered. Ensure that procedures are developed to ensure smooth handovers for employees who are filling in for colleagues in unfamiliar roles.
It may be necessary to provide additional training and a risk assessment if individuals are moving to roles where there may be a healthy and safety risk. Create an induction pack for new temporary workers with key information, health and safety briefings and risk assessments. These can be shared with temporary staff before they come onsite to ensure they are safe and quickly familiar with key procedures.
Evaluate current projects and create clear priorities
Develop plans to enable your organisation to operate on a skeleton staff if necessary. Identify key services and roles that are essential and can’t be put on hold, as well as projects or roles that could be temporarily stood down. This will allow you to funnel your workforce to the key areas to maintain service.
Identify those individuals and managers who have transferrable skills, who can fulfil more than one function and could be allocated to more essential roles. This can allow you to identify roles which can either temporarily be suspended or filled with temporary workers – using flexible resourcing to drive the business forward.
If you have daily briefings with your contingency team to ensure all preparations are still fit for purpose and have completed the induction and risk assessments highlighted above, you should already be making excellent provision to safeguard your workforce. One other area to bear in mind is ensuring you remain compliant with all legislation. For example, increased sickness absence may create a need for other employees, if willing, to work longer hours to keep your business going. If this happens, you will need to comply with the Working Time Regulations 1998 to ensure appropriate length of daytime working hours, night shifts and rest breaks.
How can Octopus Personnel help?
At Octopus Personnel, we are here to help and support you as you navigate these challenges. From finding the right temporary staff, to fully briefing them on health & safety and procedures for your company, to ensuring you remain compliant with all legislation, even as it evolves, we are here at the end of the phone to help you utilise flexible resourcing and maintain your key services at this time.
Whatever challenges you are facing, whether you need temporary staff, advice, or simply a chat, Octopus Personnel are here to support you. Call us on 01747 825568 or visit the website to request a call back.