Local Government Procurement

How to Engage and Use Labour Hire and Temporary Staffing

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How to Engage and Use Labour Hire and Temporary Staffing

There are a number of approaches that councils can maintain to maximise the effectiveness of using labour hire and temporary staff.

When employing temporary staff, it is important to provide clear expectations to your agency, maintain proper communication channels with the consultants, and ensure compliance with council’s requirements and expectations.  This will limit any confusion and ensures securing workers with the desired skillset, expertise and personality fit.

Additionally, councils should prioritise adherence to their work health and safety programmes and ensure appropriate working conditions and equal employment opportunity standards as they would for their own permanent.

  1. Clearly define your workforce needs: Before engaging any agency, thoroughly assess your workforce requirements. Identify the specific skills, qualifications, and experience needed for the roles needing to be filled, and clearly articulate the expectations and responsibilities associated with each position. This will help the agency you are engaging to find the right temporary workers who can meet council’s needs.
  2. Choose reputable agency/agencies: Research and select agencies with a proven track record, positive reputation, regional presence and expertise in Local Government – using agencies who are on the Local Government Procurement LGP 808-4 panel will help you achieve this. Use agencies that have rigorous recruitment processes, conduct thorough background checks, and ensure compliance with employment laws and regulations. Engaging reliable and reputable agencies increases the likelihood of finding reliable temporary staff with the right skills.
  3. Establish relationships with the employment agency: Build relationships with the employment consultants who are looking after your council’s staffing requirements. Help them understand the culture, values, short-term and long-term staffing requirements within the various areas of council. Keep agencies updated regarding your needs and provide them with a longer lead time before engaging workers, if possible – once the knowledge of council’s works or planned projects is established, the agency should be able to promptly respond to your requirements and even predict the potential needs for staff.
  4. Provide effective induction training: Once your temporary workers commence, invest time in providing them with effective induction training. Familiarise them with your council’s policies, procedures, and safety protocols. Provide clear instructions on who their supervisor within council is, their roles, responsibilities, and performance expectations. Offering proper training and support will help temporary workers integrate quickly, perform effectively, and contribute to your council’s success. Working closely with your agency of choice could enable them to incorporate much of council’s general induction material in the agency’s induction for your workers.
  5. Communicate expectations and goals: Clearly communicate your expectations to your agency and temporary workers from the beginning. Provide them with a thorough understanding of their tasks, goals, deadlines, and reporting structures. Set measurable goals, provide regular performance evaluations, and offer constructive feedback to the worker as well as the agency. Recognise exceptional achievements and performance and advise the agency.  This would help to further motivate the worker and help the agency further refine their selection process.  Promptly address any concerns to the agency so they can initiate the worker’s performance management as required.
  6. Build relationship and foster teamwork: Encourage open communication and collaboration among temporary and permanent staff to foster a cohesive and productive team environment. Although temporary workers may not be with your council long-term, it is still essential to build positive relationships within the team as this will encourage them to perform at their best. Treat them with respect, involve them in team activities, provide opportunities for professional development, and acknowledge their contributions. The temporary engagement can often lead to future referrals or opportunities for collaboration, as the workers may become future permanent or casual employees of the council.
  7. Evaluate and assess the effectiveness of labour hire: Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of using temporary staff within your council. Assess the quality of work, efficiency, reliability, cost-effectiveness, and overall impact on council’s operations. Solicit feedback from both permanent and temporary workers to identify areas for improvement and address any challenges or concerns. Establish regular communication with management and consulting staff from the engaged employment agency and use this feedback to refine your labour hire strategies and optimise the utilisation of temporary workers.
  8. Ensure Relevant and Timely Reporting: Organise reporting to enable relevant management staff within council to monitor the use and spend in relation to labour hire and temporary staffing. This should be sourced on at least a monthly basis, although some agencies can provide more frequent and even on-line, real time reporting.  This will help ensure that the use of labour hire and temporary staffing is maintained within budget.

Remember that while engaging workers via employment agencies can provide valuable resources, it is important to strike a balance between temporary and permanent staff to ensure continuity, stability, and a strong organisational culture reflective of your council’s values.

Visit LGP’s site and explore the options that the Local Government 808-4 contract for Human Resources (HR) – Permanent, Temporary Placements and Associated Services offers to councils.

by Stephen Jolly, Complete Staff Solutions. For more information please email or call 02 4941 9802.

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