Sometimes an extra set of capable hands can make all the difference.
Resources-as-a-Service (RaaS) is based on a simple concept: When businesses need some extra hands-on expertise, they’ll effectively “rent” select employees from an established firm to come and work on a temporary basis. This allows companies to sidestep the often-costly process of finding, screening, and recruiting new hires when their situation may call for a more temporary and/or specialized type of help.
For many companies, this can be an ideal set-up. RaaS assignments are completely flexible in terms of both scope of work and length of engagement. A company may need a professional with 10+ years of experience to manage and lead EHS or Sustainability initiatives, or it may need a few employees for day-to-day tactical work.
Many industries aren’t strangers to these types of arrangements. Outsourced staffing has been used for years within general business functions such as finance and administration. And the model has been extensively used in the technology industry for software development or special projects.
But something interesting is happening: RaaS is gaining ground with EHS leaders. Especially now, with the precarious circumstances surrounding COVID-19, RaaS is proving to be exceptionally valuable to EHS leaders.
RaaS in the Time of COVID
Even before COVID-19, EHS departments were facing increased workloads with fewer resources. And in a time where health is in the global spotlight, they are now being asked to implement an immediate response to the pandemic in addition to maintaining progress on their existing long-term environmental, health & safety initiatives – all the while dealing with layoffs, reduced headcount, and hiring freezes. It’s a lot to ask of any department, let alone one that requires such a specialized skill set.
Take the technology industry, for example: Historically, health & safety has been important but readily managed by a few internal resources. After all, these companies were creating software products – health & safety concerns had a tendency to cap out at workplace ergonomics. As these companies grew to thousands of personnel around the world, they began to realize that they have multiple health & safety regulatory compliance requirements and other EHS risks in their business, but many still lagged behind in developing a robust in-house health & safety team. With COVID-19, EHS has become an essential aspect of business, and companies are realizing that they need more resources, sometimes with special skill sets, to handle the new weight of their EHS obligations.
How is RaaS different from a staffing agency?
RaaS isn’t just about placing bodies. It’s about creating the right work conditions – with both the employer organization and the client organization – for the employee to be a productive and effective team member within the client organization. A RaaS employee who has a good employee experience with both the employer organization and the client organization will be more engaged, more productive, and more successful.
RaaS also isn’t just about technical chops. Cultural fit can be just as important, if not more so, for a successful RaaS engagement. Finding the right RaaS resource will involve understanding the client’s organizational culture and the client team dynamics and then evaluating how well potential RaaS candidates will fit in.
However, evaluation of cultural fit and employee experience doesn’t end with the RaaS placement. Managing RaaS employees during their assignment can be complex because these resources basically have two managers (the client manager and the employer manager). With intent and focus on providing meaningful feedback and support from both managers, the RaaS employee experience can be a uniquely rewarding experience for the individual while ensuring a successful engagement for the client.
Key Benefits of RaaS for EHS:
The benefits of RaaS are many, whether addressing the current COVID-19 response or in response to other drivers:
- Flexible, agile, fit-for-purpose support. Bring in any level of EHS and Sustainability expertise without the challenges of an arduous hiring process or the long-term financial commitment of bringing in a full-time employee.
- Quick-to-implement solutions. RaaS assignments are usually filled in a matter of weeks, and when needed, sometimes within days.
- Have help when you need it. The ability to “transition out” the RaaS employee is as important as being able to quickly “transition in.” Needs can change and releasing an employee back to the employer organization means keeping someone working, even in a tough time.
At Antea Group, we’ve been providing clients for years with technically-skilled, culturally-aligned employees for successful RaaS engagements. We’ve built a service model that fits with the needs of our clients and provides our RaaS employees with a uniquely-rewarding employee experience. We know how to pick ‘em: our decades of experience in hiring, training and developing EHS professionals have resulted in an industry-leading team we are truly proud of.
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