Newsletter Archive >> Summer 2007 >> Q&A with Hermes van der Lee

Q&A with Hermes van der Lee Technical Director, Professional Scientific Staffing

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Q: What is the Professional Scientific Staffing model and how does it differ from the traditional temporary staffing model?

A: The Professional Scientific Staffing (PSS) model is a new concept in scientific staffing. In this model, Lancaster Labs will provide fully trained staff at clients’ sites to perform specific projects with an expected duration of no less than two to three years. Our current programs at various U.S. locations range in size from three to sixty employees.

We at Lancaster Labs are responsible for recruiting, training and the day-to-day management of our staff. Prior to starting a new project, we have in-depth discussions with the client to determine the job requirements and the education and experience needed by the staff. During the recruiting phase of the project, the client will have the opportunity to be involved in the selection process if they so choose. At the beginning of their assignment, all staff will undergo basic Lancaster Labs-based training in the areas of safety, quality and technical competence.

To ensure that the client receives superlative service, we set up a local management structure with clearly defined reporting structures and lines of communication, both to senior Lancaster Labs management and to client points of contact. Our management staff will also proactively arrange meetings with clients at regular intervals to see that expectations are met or exceeded and that metrics are in place to track progress.

The PSS program differs from the traditional staffing model in that it is not well-suited for short-term projects, which we define as less than one year. Given the amount of time and effort involved in the setup and training of staff, the PSS model may not be cost-effective for projects of such short duration. For this type of work, we offer other options (see article on PSS (FTEs))

Q: Why not use temporary employees for medium-term projects?

A: One of the potential problems with using temporary employees for medium-term projects is the issue of co-employment. Most states have legislation regarding co-employment that limits the length of time temporary employees are allowed to work. By going the PSS route, the issue of co-employment does not exist. Therefore, our employees can work at client sites as long as the project continues. This continuity of employment results in greater productivity.

Q: Are there any advantages to using Lancaster Labs’ employees?

A: By choosing to go the PSS approach, clients will be receiving the high-quality output that Lancaster Labs is known for throughout the industry. The significant growth of the program over the last several years at each location demonstrates that Lancaster Labs’ PSS programs meet or exceed the client’s expectations.