A new service has been launched that bridges the gap between work and retirement for construction professionals. ProTem.online is a network that capitalises on the experience of professionals approaching retirement, enabling organisations to hire some of the best brains in the country.
It is the brainchild of two construction and property veterans, John Rushton and Alex Tosetti, who have recognised the future need for flexible working in a gig economy.
Rushton, designer and business leader, has been aware for some time that there is a brain drain at the point of retirement in many organisations. Professionals facing the prospect of leaving an organisation to retire find it very difficult to adjust. Tosetti, working for 30 years as a leading consultant in major corporate organisations, realised the need for client organisations to be able to hire experts for specific tasks or projects. “ProTem.online does what it says on the tin: providing ‘professional, temporary’ experts for short-term tasks, without committing to full-time employment’’ says Tosetti.
The ‘virtual collective’, ProTem, was established to fill a vast space, allowing up-cycling of industry experts, the new ‘interims’. It is not a recruitment agency, it is simply preventing the brain drain from the industry, while allowing flexibility to both experts and hiring organisations. The industry is also going through massive transformational change, driven by rapid technology and digital intervention. The ProTem portal is artificial intelligence driven, self-policed and can grow virally within the marketplace as demand requires.
Furthermore, the generation of the learned expert is getting overtaken by the generation of AI. But companies need to bottle the wisdom from the older cohort. One week of an expert can save months in time and cost to an organisation.
Roger Mumby-Croft, professor emeritus of entrepreneurship at Oxford Brookes University, comments: “The transition from full employment to retirement is a critical time for people and for the businesses and professions they are leaving. For businesses and the professions, retirement of a key person can drain important information and experience. We are notoriously bad at knowledge management, particularly around retirement, failing to pass on vital assets to the next generations of leaders.”
“Because ProTem seeks to slow the transition between full time work and full time play I can only see it as a good idea. It connects professional people who are seeking short-term contracts with organisations who want to draw upon their expertise and experience. This could allow the opportunity for senior advisors to mentor younger employees, sharing their wealth of knowledge. Or the post might be for a particular task for which the organisation does not have the resources. Either way, this must be good for personal and business health,” said Mumby-Croft.
ProTem is currently building its database of advisors and organisations. Registration is free, and no fees are payable until short-term contracts are completed. Initially ProTem is targeting engineering, real estate, media, management and professional services.