As a result of the “Great Resignation,” many institutions require support that they are not able to sustain in-house. Good news! With the vast improvements to remote work, interim staffing is a viable and efficient option for organizations to receive the expert support they need without the delays of searching, hiring, onboarding, and training the right staff members.
We sat down with Mark Davis, Managing Partner and Practice Lead, to discuss the increased demand for interim staffing and how it can benefit institutions. With nearly 40 years of experience working as a strategic business advisor to approximately 100 major universities, academic medical centers, and research institutes, Mark and his team of all-star industry experts are able to step in to provide immediate support to our clients.
Attain Partners (AP): How does Attain Partners define interim staffing?
Mark Davis (MD): Interim staffing is the ability to bring experienced subject matter experts (SMEs) on a short-term, mid-term, and long-term basis to help you manage your organization. At Attain Partners, we offer these valuable services to our clients, providing interim staffing contracts to higher education institutions and research hospitals to support their research enterprise.
AP: Why do institutions need interim staffing?
MD: A primary reason is the “Great Resignation.” People are leaving their jobs for various reasons, and it has created gaps in operations. Many organizations are seeing this happen so rapidly that they are left asking, “Wow, what do we do now?” They are trying to hire, but recruiting can be difficult and time-consuming, so they need a few people on an interim basis to keep things running smoothly.
AP: What types of team members can Attain Partners provide?
MD: Institutions want to keep things moving, but they want them to continue moving well. You can’t just hire someone from a temp agency and expect them to know the nuanced information that an expert in their field would. That’s where Attain Partners comes in—we have interim staff members who are functional and technical experts who understand research administration and Federal compliance. We employ team members who are specifically trained to help institutions with technical compliance issues and other mission-critical work.
We see a lot of demand for pre-award administration, working with scientists to develop proposals to submit to the Federal Government. Additionally, post-award administration support is a high priority right now to accurately handle all the accounting once awards are received.
This area is specialized and complex as there is a lot of regulatory compliance associated with this business. You could hire a bookkeeper off the street, but when they arrive, they have to be trained. We bring experienced, trained individuals to help do this work. They are ready to hit the ground running. These are the kind of people we’re hiring for our company, too.
AP: How do clients determine who will work with them?
MD: We’re very transparent when working with an organization. We want to ensure they get the right people to support them, both from a technical and cultural standpoint.
For example, if you need three people, we’ll present three to five individuals who have worked at universities and done the desired type of work before. We provide their bios so you can see that they are experienced and you can talk to them to get a sense of their expertise and work style. Then you can select which three candidates you’d like to support you.
We won’t send strangers to your door, we let you choose from our team of experts.
AP: Are interim staff team members on-site or remote?
MD: All of our team is remote. This has made a huge difference in terms of recruiting. Clients have access to the best people in the country with remote work. Experts who previously were not able to travel to a client site are now able to virtually come into your organization and do the work they love.
AP: Can you share an example of some of Attain Partners’ interim staffing work?
MD: We’re currently working with a prestigious research hospital. They receive about $250 million from the federal government to do research. Unfortunately, mismanagement and bad morale led to regulatory compliance situations with the government. They needed an immediate remedy or they would face serious consequences.
To help them course-correct, we first brought in interim leadership to provide much-needed direction. Then we brought in a few interim staff members to fill the gaps in terms of day-to-day operations. We are working with their leading scientists to help them get things under control in their labs and the organization is already seeing improvements.
The client recognizes that we’re helping to stabilize the organization and they are seeing clear returns on their investment. The next steps will be to advise them and help them look at the way they do business and determine how to improve and modernize moving forward. Then, the plan is to help the client transition back to managing the work internally again.
AP: What is the benefit of working with Attain Partners for interim staffing needs?
MD: We are a dynamic consultancy with many areas of deep expertise. My team is currently with this client doing this research compliance work, but once we revolutionize that for them, then we have a whole team of strategists to help transform their institution further should they want to continue to innovate. At some point you have to look at your strategy—where are we going and how do we grow? We have a team that can do that as well as provide change management support as you implement. By working with a trusted partner with a broad range of expertise, we can provide tailored support efficiently and quickly as we already know your organization and how it operates.
AP: What kind of projects do you do for interim staffing?
MD: It truly runs the gamut. We’re currently performing work for a higher education client that has struggled to find talented resources as a result of the pandemic. We have a few people there who work with them as more staff augmentation, and it’s working really well. Recently, they’ve asked for a few additional resources. Another medical institution has worked with us on and off for different interim staffing needs for 15 years. We come in, provide support for a year or so, and then stop until they need us again. But when we resume, we are familiar and able to ramp up extremely quickly.
AP: Why should someone come to Attain Partners for interim staffing support?
MD: We bring the expertise and the best people. At Attain Partners, we bring talented, experienced people with higher education and research experience, who have worked at universities doing exactly this type of work. Our team members know how to help solve the problems you face, and they have the skills to accomplish that work.
About Attain Partners – Interim Staffing
Drawing on our deep and talented pool of subject matter experts, Attain Partners helps place interim talent into your institution to ensure operations continue to run smoothly and that you receive optimal funding. We can help you fill staffing gaps with functional and technical experts who understand research administration, Federal compliance, and Financial Aid.
Do you have an interim staffing need? Contact us today and one of our experts will respond to you directly.
Learn about our Interim Staffing services here.
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