Effective Strategies To Use Temporary L&D Staffing Talent To Scale Your Team


How To Scale Your Team With L&D Staffing Services

Whether you’re a Learning and Development (L&D) professional at a small, mid-sized, or large organization, it’s likely that you’ll be called to meet a common set of challenges. We all seem to face—at one time or another—the pressures of compressed deadlines, looming projects, and skills gaps created by a special initiative, or in the absence of a team member who leaves for other opportunities.

Does your organization have a plan in place to scale up your L&D team and initiatives flexibly and with agility, in order to manage change?

One option to create agility is the use of temporary L&D staffing and talent support. Temporary hires can help you scale up development and delivery on a larger project, meet a tight turnaround, or fill in gaps in skills. There are many benefits to having a plan in place for use of a hybrid workforce—including temporary consultants when needed—to manage change, improve your projects, and avoid the pitfalls of hiring. It’s a valuable strategy, but many leaders have worries. Often, L&D team leaders are reluctant to use temporary hiring services. The reasons for this might include:

  • The perception that a temporary hire might not have the industry or organizational knowledge needed.
  • Concerns that a temporary hire won’t integrate well with the team and could be unreliable.
  • Uncertainty and issues around budgeting, with fears of risk and unmanaged expense.
  • Lack of knowledge around where to find effective temporary talent, creating a bottleneck in the process.

However, you can use temporary L&D staffing effectively—and to your benefit. While there is no need to outsource for everything, you can use temporary hires strategically in the short term to add to your internal knowledge base, seamlessly integrate with your team, and add agility and capacity to your output.

For example, you might choose to hire a temporary graphic designer to facilitate improved engagement and closer brand alignment within your existing eLearning course offerings. Another option might be to bring on a person with the technical know-how to help update your LMS or to author a course in Rise based on the designs of your internal team. You might also bring on an Instructional Designer with the experience and knowledge needed to design a microlearning program based on your existing content. These are all good shorter-term options that can have lasting benefits for your internal team.

But how to find the right temporary L&D staff member or contractor? How will you find the right fit to integrate them with your team? What about those other common concerns around budget and risk? Read on. We’re sharing the basic steps to use temporary talent. These best practices will help you to manage hiring, talent integration, overall strategy, and manage risk.

5 Steps To Use Temporary L&D Staffing Talent Effectively

1. Maintain The Right Knowledge Base Of SMEs On Your Internal L&D Team

That’s right: a prerequisite for outsourcing and using temporary talent requires that you have the internal talent to manage the project, convey industry knowledge, answer questions about your systems and content, and have a high-level vision for the desired learning experience. Bonus points if you have completed an internal needs analysis, curated your content, and have a job skills matrix prepared to link desired performance to outcomes.

2. Develop A Skills Matrix And/Or Work Through A Needs Analysis

As mentioned above, you’ll want to be prepared for your learning initiatives with the information needed for project readiness. This repository of information—which could include analysis, matrices, surveys, and user data—will both guide your learning design and identify the gaps temporary talent can fill in. It could serve as a guiding document for any help you bring in, as well.

3. Plan Your Onboarding Process Of Temporary Talent Wisely

Once you’ve identified the skills gaps you need to fill, you can determine how much direction you’ll need to give any temporary hires. Generally speaking, someone coming in with a very ordered, specific set of tasks can be given a shorter onboarding that only covers their area of the project. Alternatively, if you’re hiring someone who will have to perform more critical thinking processes to design and solve problems, you’ll need to provide a bit longer training that includes more of the bigger picture. You also want to be sure to integrate anyone you hire into the team and help them know where to go to source needed information. It helps to have someone on your internal team with management experience to smooth the process, but this isn’t always necessary.

4. Know Your Exit Strategy

Clear and open communication will be key to your success throughout the project and to preparing for the project’s conclusion. You’ll want to implement key strategies for documentation to minimize knowledge loss. Incorporate design documents, content outlines, scripts, and other resources as a knowledge base for future reference.

5. Choose A Provider With Experience And A Portfolio Of Past Success

It helps to choose talent while with a proven track record of experience showing the ability to work flexibly, grasp new information quickly, and contribute effectively to complex projects. If you’re unsure of how to go about the finding and hiring process, it’s useful to outsource the hiring process to recruiters with knowledge and a track record within the L&D industry. If you don’t have the resources to conduct training for temporary hires or need help to find the right fit, use of a staffing service with experienced L&D professionals could save you both time and money, as well as reduce risk.

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