Every communications leader hits that moment where they have a vacancy or need to expand the team, and desperately need someone to fill the breach.
In the current market, getting good staff is harder now than ever because there seems to be more jobs than people.
I have experienced this quite a few times over the last few years when I tried to find the right people through advertising or a specialist agency. It is especially hard when looking for interim appointments that need to hit the ground running.
This challenge was really brought to light during COVID-19, where many organisations were increasing the size of their teams to deliver COVID-19 specific communications or to build resilience in already stretched teams.
Luckily, I was able to use Westco Works to help me find the right people to fill three roles helping with COVID-19 communications, engagement and recovery.
Using Westco Works, they cut out the pain for me, searching for the right people and setting up interviews. When the right people were found then of course the next challenge was to bed them in and give them support to quickly understand the task at hand.
I am lucky that I already have a good team around me so they were able to help with this. However, that is only part of the story.
I believe that all interims should be treated the same as employed staff. You need to make sure they feel part of the team. They need to be included and informed. You also need to manage them like any other member of staff, which should consist of monthly 1-1s, objective setting and feedback.
You will never get the best from them if you don’t do this. The flip side is that if it doesn’t work out, it is easier for both you and the interim to part ways.
Another plus is each interim that I have employed often has a unique outlook or skills they can bring into play that helps both the team and me get better communications outcomes. In particular, I found this when I brought someone in to help with our COVID-19 engagement. Not only did that person do a great job and massively improve how the council engaged with those communities it doesn’t typically reach, but I also learned from this experience, helping to build on my skills as a leader and expert.
And if you are not convinced yet…
With ever-reducing budgets, interims are best used to offer support over fixed periods to cover busy times of year, hopefully making it more financially affordable, while relieving the pressure on other staff in your teams. Being able to fulfil short-term appointments is a skill not many people have - being able to jump from one client or project to another. You will find an experienced interim can do this through Westco Works
So, in my mind, interims are a very beneficial resource to support the wider team in times of need, offering far more than just someone to get the job done, and using Westco Works, I have been able to get great quality people that have helped me in more ways than one!
Whatever your recruitment challenge in the future, remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Westco Works is here to help. Having an interim candidate is a great way to recruit speedily, plug a gap or simply bring in some skilled resource to help deliver a specific project. Read more here about why you should consider this option.
Even if you don’t know what skill set you need or how long you might need someone to step in for, if you have a job or a project that needs to be implemented, reach out to see how we can help. Email Nalini at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 7641 5242.
Marcus Chrysostomou –Westco Account Director and Head of Communications at Havering Council