Companies that rely on temporary workers solely for “firefighting” scenarios often find that by the time one fire has been put out, another one is just flaring-up. Perhaps a permanent employee has quit, fallen ill, or experienced a family emergency. Perhaps a new contract has been won or an opportunity lost. Whatever the scenario, temporary employees are swift, effective solutions to unforeseen circumstances. At TempsAhead we are experts are finding the right person with the right skills to hit the ground running at times like these. But as 2016 quickly approaches, it is worthwhile considering that temporary employees are not just for firefighting—they might also prove essential to your company’s strategic planning.

Hiring strategically

A strategic plan is not the same as your business plan or a budget forecast. It is an articulation of where your business wants to be and how it is going to get there. In companies where hiring is reactive (firefighting), a strategic plan may struggle to thrive. That’s because new hires take time to recruit, settle in, get up to speed, and add value to the company’s strategy. This is part of the reason that large organizations (such as universities and government offices) retain auxiliary employees. These individuals, who are familiar with the strategic plan, put out a fire before it has the chance to start. That’s right: they are part of the strategic plan.

Not every organization can retain auxiliary staff. But the strategy may be mimicked.  Now, if your highly important initiatives do not require a permanent hire, reshuffling the company’s talent is one way to entrust the job to employees who are close to your strategic plan. But what happens when another fire erupts?

How Temporary Employees Add Value to a Strategic Plan

Planning ahead to task qualified temporary employees with important (but not urgent) projects is a proactive strategic tactic for several reasons:

1) As the temporary assignment was strategically planned and not reactive, the temporary employee is not expected to put out a fire. As such, all parties get to know one another as they collaborate on the company’s strategic plan under normal working conditions.

2) If the fit is great, the temporary employee may be happy to have their contract extended or made permanent as your remaining strategic goals are tackled.

3) Sould a fire erupt later in the year, your company will have built a relationship with its recruitment agency and a handful of temporary workers. In short, you will have easy access to “auxiliary” workers who are familiar with your company’s strategic vision.

Put a Lid on Putting Out Fires in 2016

Many businesses will have to put out fires in 2016. And temporary employees will be vital when these crises arise. But in companies where 2016 is planned with careful strategy, temporary employees could be a proactive solution for meeting their business goals.