Model 2: Shared personnel, asset or facilities services
Entering into an agreement to share personnel, assets or facilities takes a bit more effort than establishing an advice and support network. The exact amount of effort depends on which of the three shared services arrangement you are thinking of entering into and the complexities within the specific sharing arrangement. The main considerations are provided as a guide below.
If you need a highly skilled person to support your IT, HR, finance, marketing or some other back-of-house service area, but don’t require them on a full time basis and are having difficulty finding someone who wants to work the hours or days you can offer, working with another organisation to share the person may help.
Often the easiest way to share personnel is to collaborate with another organisation to jointly develop the job specification (remuneration, split of time, etc.) for the advertisement, find the right person and then employ the person under two separate employment contracts. You should discuss and agree how to handle any potential challenges such as what if one organisation requires the person to work more days (potentially affecting the time they have to work at the other organisation) to ensure the arrangement is well-placed to stand the test of time.
A shared asset service such as car or photocopier can be relatively easy to establish – particularly if one organisation owns the asset and other organisations can use it for a fee. It is important to agree the cost of using the asset, how it is booked (and what happens when multiple people require it), and how issues such as breakage or damage is handled (and ensuring that any insurance covers the use of the asset by another party).
Sharing facilities with other organisations can be as simple as establishing a rental agreement for unused space. However, other options such as a more integrated community facility which is jointly governed can offer significant benefits for both the organisation that use the facility and the local community.