Visual inspections are crucial in many industries. But none more so than the growing pharmaceutical industry in Ireland.
Typically, staffing needs for visual inspections come when something has gone wrong with a batch, and you have to choose between pulling existing staff away from other batches or hiring new staff to fill the void. Unfortunately, in an urgent situation such as this, your company can suffer from a significant drop in productivity and output, or incur a large cost.
So how can you make a horrible situation as pain-free as possible without creating new problems?
Here are some tips for finding and placing reliable candidates to conduct visual inspections in those times of need.
Tip #1 - Fine Tune Your Onboarding Process
The quicker you can get new staff up to speed on your processes, the less downtime you will have when a batch goes astray. This is why your onboarding process and average ramp time for new employees is so important.
Every moment that your production is not at full capacity, it’s costing the company a lot of money in unfulfilled orders, additional working hours, and wastage costs. So as soon as a batch goes off course and you need all hands on deck for a visual inspection, it’s crucial that you can bring in temporary staff, onboard them quickly, and reduce downtime.
This can be especially stressful when there is pressure to complete a batch by a set deadline, and the last thing your operators and managers need is to be training new staff on fairly basic visual inspections.
Tip #2 - Work With a Specialist Staffing Agency
If you partner with a staffing agency you have the option of going for one that is general, and serves a number of industries, or one that is more specialist, and focuses specifically on the pharma industry. When it comes to very specific temp roles, such as visual inspections, generalist agencies are unlikely to turnaround the skilled workers you need in a short timeframe.
A specialist staffing agency can solve this problem because they are doing similar placements all the time. For example, at Flexsource we specialise in the Pharmaceutical and Manufacturing industry, where we regularly need to place temporary and short-time staff with specialist experience in a batch operation or visual inspections. So you can get staff in, ramp them up in a very short amount of time, and have all your batches back on track without committing to a long arduous interviewing and training process. Then, when things get back to normal you are not committed to a permanent staff member.
Tip #3 - Hire and Rehire Flexible Workers
The nature of the pharmaceutical industry, especially when it comes to event-specific staffing needs such as visual inspections and batch downtime, doesn’t allow for a full complement of permanent staff. In reality, you need a mix of both temporary (flexible) staff and permanent staff in your ecosystem, so that you can handle the inconsistent and often erratic workloads.
The challenge with this scenario is that most workers want a more stable employment contract. If they are constantly being pulled in and then hung out to dry with batch fluctuations, it can begin to create a sense of resentment and frustration towards your organisation. This resentment can diminish your brand and affect your ability to hire quality candidates in the future.
At Flexsource we work with a big network of flexible workers who are skilled, trained, and ready to fill the gaps when you have them. This flexibility means you can not only meet fluctuating demand, but you can also see what workers are like before hiring them permanently, without the risk of diminishing your brand. When you hire workers through Flexsource their relationship is with us, so if you only need them temporarily there will be no bad blood towards your company if they have to move on.
If you don’t have access to quality entry-level workers to perform visual inspections, it can significantly disrupt your day-to-day operations and slow down the delivery of important batches. Not to mention that these visual inspections, whilst fairly simple to carry out, are extremely important from a quality assurance and compliance perspective.
If you want peace of mind that the next time a batch goes wrong you are armed with the flexible workers you need to get things back on track, without negatively affecting other batches and increasing downtime, then consider partnering with Flexsource.
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Linda Hickey - Service Delivery Manager at Flexsource Recruitment.