Recruitment of temporary staff emerging as a key hiring strategy
It is fair to say that 2013 so far has been an uncertain time for the legal sector in Yorkshire. We have witnessed yet further administrations, closures and mergers. In addition, the changes to Personal Injury law combined with the legal aid cuts have caused many firms to exercise a degree of caution.
We have however still had many recruitment requests and have in particular seen many clients request temporary staff to work in their businesses. Statistics show that nationally temporary/contract recruitment saw a 5.5% increase in 2012 across all sectors and this growth seems to be continuing into 2013, especially in the local legal sector. This is an encouraging sign, especially in light of the introduction of the Agency Workers Regulations in October 2011 which many feared would cause a reduction in opportunities for temporary workers. So why the rise in temporary recruitment?
It appears that many firms are still understandably reluctant to increase the head count of permanent workers due primarily to the uncertain state of the economy. Many are instead keen to have a more flexible workforce that they can scale up and down depending on workflow. Temporary workers allow these businesses to maintain their capacity and keep servicing their client base whilst not having to commit to any longer term increase in overheads.
We have definitely witnessed this increase in temporary recruitment in the local legal sector with many firms coming to us over the last couple of months to assist when workloads have increased or to assist with project based assignments. This has been particularly true in the fields of Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence with clients asking us to provide locums and support staff to handle a temporary increase in new matters ahead of the changes to CFA work at the start of April.
Temporary employees can definitely prove useful should you feel that you need short term additional support in your firm. The most obvious advantage to using temporary staff is that it provides your workforce with flexibility. Temporary workers can also assist in covering last minute or unexpected eventualities such as sickness within departments or a sudden increase in work activity. They can also assist with specific project based assignments or marketing campaigns. Temporary workers often provide invaluable at certain seasonal times of the year when permanent members of staff are more likely to be on annual leave, such as the summer holiday season.
Allowing temporary workers to clear backlogs of work can 'free up' regular staff and allow them to focus on the critical and urgent workloads. Temporary workers with specialist knowledge or experience can act as 'troubleshooters' and assist with some projects or cases that may simply fall outside the remit of your permanent members of staff.
Temporary assignments allow both the candidate and the law firm to trial one another. We often find that many temporary roles are extended or clients discover temporary workers that they would actually like to employ on a permanent basis.
In this climate,when many organisations are challenged financially, it does often make sense for firms to recruit temporary members of staff. CRA Legal is experienced in resourcing temporary members of staff across all legal departments and at all levels. Should you have any temporary recruitment needs or requests for new permanent employees please do not hesitate to contact us on 0114 241 8030.