Managers urged to use large pool of skills
Monday June 22nd 2009.   Posted: 08:00
There are many short-term assignments in need of skilled BT people
And managers in need of these skills are being urged to let the short-term assignments team within BT’s career transition centre (CTC) know.
The people available in the pool are all in the process of being redeployed within BT - and short term assignments can add to their skills, giving them a better chance to find a new role, explains short-term assignment team leader Chris Theodorou.
“There are many people with a wide range of skills who can provide the short-term cover for a wide range of projects,” he said.
“This is often more effective and beneficial for the company than employing contractors because people in the pool know BT and its systems and processes well.”
The short-term assignment team has been in operation for around 18 months, as part of BT’s wider redeployment activities, and has already found many redeployees permanent positions, says Chris.
With the pool of skills expected to grow over the next few months, the need for managers to nominate appropriate short-term assignments is growing.
During the assignment, each individual also has time allocated to continue searching for a longer-term position and to complete any retraining required.
Chris says most commonly in demand for short-term assignments are office-based computer skills for auditing, data cleansing, working on Excel spreadsheets and software development.
“Other projects we’ve been able to support are cabling, electronic circuit board testing, software development and skills using the customer services system,” he said.
A recent example of temporary work turning into full-time positions was a short-term assignment which looked at taking over from contractors fitting equipment in exchanges.
This work produced new posts and nine redeployees have been taken on by BT Operate.
The advantage for business areas requiring such a resource is that the assignment is funded by the CTC for the first four weeks.
If required for longer, an individual then must be funded by the business area concerned but will remain on his or her existing terms and conditions.
Chris said: “If an individual is then offered a full-time position, their terms and conditions are readjusted at the normal annual review.”
Each member of Chris’s small team works on several projects at a time in order to give full attention to the search for the appropriate person.
This process is helped by both managers and potential assignees providing as much relevant information as possible to enable the correct match to be made.
The system is also a way that managers in a specific department can request the services of people who they may already know, adds Peter.
“But there are also many cases where people have made the transition to a completely new working environment thanks to an initial short-term assignment,” he said.
“For example, we’ve had engineers moving into a contact centre helpdesk environment where their know-how about some of the technical aspects proves very useful.”
Chris predicts the need for expertise on a short-term basis will continue for a long time to come.
“Activities requiring support are set to increase with ongoing initiatives such as preparation for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the roll-out of super-fast broadband,” said Chris. “BT will need to use skills as and when required at short notice.”
Chris says there is always a demand for short-term assignees and his team can rapidly respond.
One example was the records update project required for the power inventory routine manager database.
“When the project was rolled out nationally, within a week we had forwarded 90 names to the business area in need of support,” he said.
Apply for assignments
“The assignment team is always there to support both the clients but also the CTC members - ensuring their skills are fully put to use. This is reflected by the feedback that the individuals receive from our clients - the project owners.”
“By applying knowledge gained from different fields, we can usually identify the right person within 48 hours,” he said.
“Being in the same geographic area isn’t always necessary because many redeployees already have the required kit to work from an office near home or at home during the assignment.”
The latest short-term opportunities can be viewed in the CTC Livelink folder on the intranet. Redeployees can apply online for an assignment.