Managing the risks associated with agency staffPublished: 17/06/2015
The below is a shameless plug for the Red Snapper Group’s specialist agency worker service –www.PoliceSkills.co.uk
This said, I want the reader to understand we have built our unique service by learning the lessons of past mistakes. We have supported the police sector for over 10 years supplying flexible staff to support the demands; the ups and downs of police work. When I look back at the sort of service we provided 10 years ago I cringe with a sense of embarrassment when reflecting on just how unrefined the service was back then.
So whether you use our service to provide you with specialist agency staff or the other guys; make sure the service you are receiving delivers the following;
The right kind of skills
An obvious statement however 10 years ago, our delivery team did not have a single police experienced team member. 10 years on, the majority of our delivery team have served in the police sector and our head of quality assurance is a former Chief Officer from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC). Our knowledge of the roles we supply is now that akin of a policing insider’s.
The right sort of notice period for your agency staff
Under general agency staff contracts, your agency staff team member does not need to give any notice to leave their post. If this sort of outcome is simply not fit for purpose, make sure your service provider has engaged the agency worker on specialist terms such as PBA (Pay Between Assignments). There is no legal way to enforce any notice period under standard agency worker terms. If you don’t want to be caught out by a key team member walking out of the door with key corporate knowledge, make sure the terms agreed are fit for your purposes.
The right sort of performance management
The average length of a specialist policing agency worker assignment is nine months. Nine months is too long for any worker to not have their performance assessed. Our service works with hiring managers to quickly and efficiently assess performance to nip in the bud any dip in productivity or efficiency. This is incredibly important to achieve the right outcomes.
The right sort of continuous professional development (CPD)
The average length of a specialist policing agency worker assignment is nine months and it is not unusual for an assignment to run for one, two and four years. Skills and knowledge can decay if not managed. Legislation and methods change. Police employers run risks by engaging agency worker service providers whom do not maintain the skills and knowledge of their agency workers. Maintaining the CPD of our workers is now a standard part of our service
The right sort of benefits for the agency workers
Why should the police sector employer care about agency worker benefits? One word – Retention. With assignments running for periods measured in years, the retention of agency workers and therefore corporate knowledge becomes critical. We pay retention bonuses, we’re currently rolling out pension provisions, provide free subscriptions to police news sites such as Police Oracle and provide fun benefits such as shopping discount club membership as standard.
So, a shameless plug for Police Skills – yes
However understand there is the best and there is the rest!