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Secondments: How to get the best out of temporary talent

28th March 2023

Resourcing a complex construction project isn’t straightforward. When your needs flex from week to week, having the right team in place is critical. You can’t afford to have internal team members on the bench. But what do you do when deadlines are looming, change requests are piling up, and your internal team is stretched to its limit?

You may have considered bringing in temporary staff to fill the gap. But if you’ve ever tried to source interim staff yourself, or worked with a recruitment agency, you’ll know that hiring and onboarding even temporary team members can be time-consuming. Not to mention the challenge of quickly sourcing senior, experienced, commercial talent that can hit the ground running.

Luckily, there is another way. Secondments can be an excellent solution for main contractors in need of flexible, and experienced support; stress-free. Perfectly suited to the natural peaks and troughs of commercial management on major projects, seconded talent can be your safety net when you need it.

Choosing an experienced provider, like Soben, that can provide talent alongside a fully managed service, gives you the peace of mind that you can flex your team to meet your project requirements. Here are five quick tips for getting the best out of seconded staff: 

    1. Think about what you need

Hiring seconded talent is no different from hiring permanent staff. The more information you can provide about the type of person you need, the easier it is to find a great match.  

    1. Brief your provider

Once you’ve put together a full description of the type of person you require, ensure you take the time to brief your consultant on your requirements.  

    1. Select the right person for the job

CV’s can only tell you so much, so it’s always good to meet with your secondee before they start.  

    1. Make time for onboarding

Once you’ve selected your new team member, your provider should take care of the admin such as contracts and  any other documentation, so you’ve got more time to onboard them properly.  

    1. Set KPIs and monitor progress regularly

Your secondee will be working for you and following your processes and systems – with minimal input from your provider. So, take the time to set objectives and deliverables, with KPIs clear from day one.  


Interested in reading more? Check out Soben’s complete guide to working with temporary talent:

                                                                            Get the guide


Typically, we think of secondments as an opportunity for employees to gain valuable work experience and strengthen their skills – often within their own organisation. But it’s not just employees who can benefit from the secondment model. Soben has provided experienced commercial personnel to deliver on some of the UK’s most complex projects. For example, for one Tier 1 contractor, we recently provided resource for a project at one of the UK’s leading universities. Our team member was a valuable extension of the client team, assisting with procurement of sub-contractor work packages, management of sub-contractor payments and change orders, and stakeholder liaison.  

In the construction industry, resourcing for complex projects isn’t always straightforward. Changes can occur from week to week, and with deadlines pending it is crucial to have the right team in place. Many teams consider bringing in temporary staff to assist with the pressures, but find the challenge of sourcing and onboarding suitable talent too time-consuming. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, secondments can be a superb solution for main contractors who need flexible and experienced support, without the stress – if you’re working with the right partner.

                                                                            Read more


Soben understands your business; because we’ve been there. We combine the best consultancy practices, with real-life experience of managing complex construction projects. So, when resource issues mean you need experienced commercial talent, quickly, we’re here to help. Stop wasting time and money on recruiters. Tap into a global pool of on-demand, fully vetted, senior talent. We provide support as and how you need it, with no long term commitments. Our flexible resource can work part or full time, short or long term, to meet your needs.

To speak to someone about Soben’s secondment services in EMEA, you can contact Robert on the details below:  

Robert McQueen

Project Director – Consultancy, EMEA  

[email protected]