To meet client specific requirements and the constraints of specific engagements, associate services are required to be provided in accordance with pre-agreed work patterns. Should the situation arise where swapping associates between existing shift patterns is possible, the following guidance should be followed. This should not be confused with introducing or significantly changing the shift patterns across an engagement which would require additional activities, such as change control, to be undertaken.
At the outset, engagements are instigated with an expectation of working patterns. These often include ‘split shifts’ to allow desks to be utilised more efficiently, resulting in early and late shifts. In addition, weekend working, overtime and a flexible working pattern (5 in 4 etc.) have become common place.
There will be situations that arise where shift switches are required. Equally, positions may arise on some shifts that may be better suited to associates recruited on a different shift (and attrition can be mitigated in reacting positively to associate requests).
This guidance aims to clarify the approach to be taken in such circumstances to ensure a consistent and fair process is adopted.
Two scenarios are given below as examples that will cover the majority of the instances shift swaps will apply, to fill a resource requirement or following a request from an associate.
- Filling a resource requirement for an associate
A resource requirement can arise due to engagement expansion or attrition. If the Resourcing team are engaged to meet the resource requirement, then it is assumed that any shift swaps will have been concluded before confirming the recruitment criteria to the Resourcing team.
A transparent and auditable approach and fair decision- making process should be undertaken when offering the opportunity to shift swap to existing associates.
- Bespoke requests
Outside of the above process an associate may request to swap shifts for several reasons. It is important that this request is escalated to the EM/SDM initially for consideration if it cannot be satisfied locally within the project. It should be explained to the associate that the request will be considered and may need client approval; a response (although not necessarily the decision) will be provided within 10 days.
The EM/SDM should discuss the feasibility of the request with either the onsite Huntswood manager, or the senior client contact, depending on the set up/structure. It is important the individual making the request is given face-to-face feedback to explain the outcome (which may be a compromise if a ‘full’ switch isn’t possible).
Whilst the associate has accepted an offer of a role on a particular location and shift pattern it is important to remember in line with the Huntswood ethos and values that declined requests need to be handled professionally by all parties involved. A declined request can be emotive therefore thought should be given to where decisions are conveyed.
Open communication, a fair and transparent process and ultimately doing the right thing for both our clients and associates are the key messages when conducting this process.
Often, business needs take precedence, and it may not be possible to always give every associate what they request.