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Hiring Office Support Temps & Contractors During COVID-19

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We have had to make a lot of changes over the last couple of months both personally and professionally. Overnight our daily routines have evaporated, and we've been forced into work from home situations, or in some cases reduced working hours.

Alongside my role in Cpl Cork, I'm currently in the process of completing a CIPD diploma and we have just begun our second last module - Supporting Change within Organisations. It's quite apt given the changes businesses have had to make recently in the face of this crisis.

As a country, we've had to adjust to working and managing teams remotely, introducing new technologies to ensure effective communication, becoming more innovative to engage teams, customers and clients in order to stay connected, and learning how to support each other.

The impact of COVID-19 on Office Support

As we move forward through this pandemic, it's becoming clear that we are adaptable. We are facing the adversity head-on and ensuring we come out stronger than ever.

It has come at a cost and businesses have had to make difficult decisions to let some employees go temporarily or indefinitely, with some sectors and industries impacted and suffering considerably more than others.

I recruit for Office Support roles which include Receptionists, Administrators, Personal Assistants, and Office Managers for temporary contracts across all industries. Office Support staff are integral to the efficient running and operations of a business.

They are the first point of contact for your business;they connect senior management and employees; they organise your diaries, manage emails, travel itineraries, and meetings; chase invoices and process expenses; ensure employees are fully equipped in order to carry out their jobs; organize events and spur teams on to engage in organisational activities.

In short, they ensure all departments are functioning and keep to deadlines. They are front and foremost in any business and essentially, are the backbone to any business.

Maintaining business as usual during COVID-19

Our situation has certainly changed but our need for support hasn't. If anything, it has increased. No matter how big or small your company is, office support staff are the core to ensuring a business operates efficiently and effectively.

Their communications skills, multi-tasking skills, organisation, and flexibility ensures the success of the business operationally as well as commercially.

I can only speak for the Cork region when I say this - we have been lucky that the contingent workforce we have working for our clients has not been impacted hugely as regards being able to continue to work.

They have all been set-up and supported to ensure they are equipped to work from home in a very short space of time. They have been adaptable and responsive to this sudden change and have adjusted well to working from home.

Everyone's experience is different and it may suit some more than others (I for one, love to be in the office and miss the social interaction), but people are embracing it nonetheless. It definitely could be a game-changer for the future with a hybrid of remote and office-based work.

Hiring Office Support contractors remotely

As we move forward through this pandemic, it is important to prepare so businesses can gradually open their doors again and get the economy back on its feet.

With this, some businesses may need extra support with backlogs, new projects, covering leave, or you might need to bring on extra support but cannot increase your headcount due to budget constraints. Why not consider availing of temporary support?

I have the fortunate job of meeting with talented candidates on a daily basis who are looking for new opportunities. I have discovered over the past couple of months that there is so much talent out there and the attitude towards temporary work is changing.

'Temporary' used to signify short-term, instability and uncertainty. But in fact, it is an opportunity for both the business and the worker to build a relationship and ensure the shoe fits for everyone, without a long-term commitment or a rigorous interview process.

I saw in a recent article that 114,400 people were registered as unemployed in the first quarter of this year. At the end of April, this figure was at 694,683.

We have a lot of talent out there and now is the time to take advantage of this and explore what you as a business can do during these challenging times to optimise your success - talent is number one.

Hiring contractors during COVID - what are the benefits?

  • Fill an urgent demand and gap in employment while looking for the right fit - you might even discover the temporary worker is the right fit!
  • Save time and money - instead of pumping time and money into recruiting for the 'perfect' candidate, you could bring on a temporary worker without increasing your headcount.
  • Onboarding and payroll - we take the arduous task of the administration away by onboarding and payrolling the worker while providing aftercare checking in with both client and candidate on a regular basis to ensure everything is ok.
  • Flexibility - an urgent project just came in at 4:55 on Friday evening and you need support ASAP. We can provide you with that support for however short or long-term you need.
  • New skills and adaptability - temporary workers generally have experience in different professional environments and bring new skills and fresh ideas to the fore.
  • 'Working interview' - instead of going through 3 rounds of interviews and realising the candidate isn't a fit and you have to begin the whole process again, why not bring someone in on a 'working interview' - you'll soon realise whether they are a fit for the organisation or not.
  • Unexpected absence - your Receptionist, PA or Office Manager has an unexpected absence, or has an emergency- what do you do? We can provide support for last-minute urgent demands.

How the temporary hiring process works

Temporary or contract workers are the ideal solution for a business that is going through some internal changes and needs extra admin support.

In this situation, budget or headcount allowance often don't stretch enough to allow for a permanent hire. In addition, the company generally won't have a fixed time for how long they will need that person.

Cpl's remote hiring process for contractors

  • We will go through our temporary service in detail and the finer details of the role, what you need, for how long etc. This is done so we can help you find the most suitable person. We always find organising a meeting is beneficial for both parties to understand your organisation and culture.
  • We will start sourcing, screening and meeting ALL suitable candidates via video call or we may have suitable candidates already on our database who could be available and able to interview ASAP.
  • We will arrange for interviews to take place remotely and guide you through this process if you have not done virtual interviews previously (Zoom and Microsoft Teams are both popular interviewing tools).
  • We begin the onboarding process - references, contracts, Garda Vetting (if required) etc. We take away all the admin of screening, onboarding and payroll.
  • We provide an excellent aftercare service checking in with our worker and client regularly to see that everything is running smoothly and to address any hiccups or problems. We have a hands-on approach to the services we provide.

If your business is in need of support, either temporary or more permanent, get in touch - we'd be happy to advise and talk you through the various options. For any Cork queries contact Rory or if you're based outside of the South / South-East you can get in touch here.