Secondments on the Rise

With the New Zealand economy starting to gain confidence (at least relative to the rest of the world) we are starting to see a greater demand for highly skilled resources. This is not just on a permanent basis but also temporary as employers come to terms with skilled resource shortages. While an employer may wish to employ its own resource, skilled candidates can be a scarce (or non-existent) commodity leaving limited options. Stop gap measures to keep the wheels turning or to add muscle to push a project over the line are more commonly being implemented through the secondment of external staff.

A secondment is where a staff member temporarily transfers to another position on a contracted basis, to the mutual benefit of all parties. The need for secondments can arise for a number of different reasons including:

  • First is the “someone is leaving” scenario and the client needs a resource quick smart to keep things on track and reduce overloading existing resources while it commences a recruitment process to find a permanent replacement. The timeframe to complete this procurement process should not be underestimated, in our experience all things going to plan six to eight weeks should be considered an absolute minimum and if you’re picky allow double this period.
  • Second is the “big project scenario” where a dedicated project team is assembled to complete a one off project. In this situation consultants work alongside other professionals (engineers, planners, project managers) with a joint goal of project delivery. Once the project is complete, the team disperses back to their ‘normal jobs’ or on to the next assignment.
  • In recent time, a third source of secondments has arisen in the public sector where a client is unable to recruit full-time in-house resource due to headcount policies. In these instances such clients can deal with overflow/load as and when required by having an external consultant join their team to pick up the slack.

While the primary benefit to the client of seconding consultants is filling a temporary resourcing need, there are many other secondary benefits:

  • Subsequent to the secondment, a fully trained and trusted resource familiar with a client’s systems and operation is available for future requirements such as covering annual/sick leave and peak workflow times.
  • Such resources are often highly skilled, well trained operatives with industry experience.
  • In some cases they also have access to a strong resource networks and knowledge bases.
  • Brings new ideas and prospectus.

In the Wellington Office alone The Property Group has four staff currently on secondments, so if you are short of a property resource for any of the above reasons (or any other for that matter), feel free to give us a call. Regardless of your requirement; junior or senior, full time or just a couple of hours a week to get you over a hump I am sure we can come up with a solution to fit your unique circumstances.