Emma Green, associate director of Michael Page Logistics, explains that as peak season approaches, logistics firms across the UK need to operate as ‘flexible firms' to accommodate changing levels of demand.
Following the global recession in the early eighties, British economist John Atkinson developed the model of ‘The Flexible Firm' to address the issues of labour market flexibility. In his research, Atkinson described some of the major concerns of the market and the shift in the employment practices of British firms in response to these issues. One of the key outcomes of his research was the need for numerical flexibility when it comes to employment strategy.
Fast forward to 2012 and the ability to vary headcount at short notice to match the demands of business is more applicable than ever. Future uncertainty and global market changes have once again meant organisations require a workforce that can respond quickly to unforeseen changes in demand.
Increasingly, logistics organisations are seeing the financial benefits of having a core of permanent, full-time employees to match their low demand seasons and using a flexible ‘peripheral' group to staff up at peak times. Indeed, as the summer peak rapidly approaches we are witnessing increasing demand for interim support and this will only be accentuated in 2012 by the impact of the Olympics.
How do organisations go about this?
There are a number of ways organisations can ensure they are operating a flexible employment model. These include:
By attracting trainees and apprentices through schemes such as Aspire
By introducing job sharing and flexible working hours where possible, supporting business objectives and meeting the needs of existing staff looking for part-time work to address their work/life balance
- By using external agency staff made up of interim and fixed term contract employees
At Michael Page Logistics we have recognised the importance of supplying organisations with high quality interim staff, with dedicated teams who focus purely on interim logistics recruitment. In addition, Page Personnel Logistics is a division dedicated to first line management level recruitment, for business critical operational roles, where an immediate start is required. Our team meet and reference check candidates and can often supply clients with interim staff at less than a day's notice.
More senior strategic and project based roles are also increasingly resourced on an interim basis where existing core staff don't have the necessary skills or resource to meet these business needs. Interim consultants offer maximum flexibility, charging on a daily basis often working only a few days a week to meet project requirements.
If you think that you may need to bolster your team during peak, now is the time to act. The best interims are already being snapped up and so it will pay not to leave hiring until the last minute, to ensure you are fielding your best team for summer 2012.
For more information on interim logistics recruitment, please get in touch with your local team