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Engaging Your Contingent Workforce

Posted on July 21st, 2016 Read time: 2 minutes

By: Jennifer Maynard, Human Resources Manager

Summer is a busy time of year to hire temporary or contingent employees.  Many companies utilize the contingent workforce for contracts and projects or business growth opportunities. Other companies may utilize the contingent employee, throughout the year, to gauge how they might fit into the company and to support uncertain times of unpredictable growth.

These contingent employees play an important role in many companies.    The Staffing Industry Analysts predict the US staffing market will grow 6% in both 2016 and 2017 to nearly $150 billion.  The contingent workforce is an increasingly important component of an integrated workforce strategy.  Companies value the contingent workforce for the flexibility, cost savings and increased productivity.

There’s no doubt that contingent workers occupy an increasingly important place in the workforce, and employers need to understand the opportunities contingent employees can provide.  Engaging the contingent workforce should be as important as your permanent employee engagement.

Here are some tips to managing the success and engagement of your contingent workforce:

Warm Welcome & Orientation

  • Treat your contingent employees as you would any new hire.
  • Create a good first impression with a positive orientation experience.
  • Remember the contingent employee can be a great ambassador for your company – whether they are with you for a week or a year.

Offer Introductions/Make Connections

  • Prepare your staff for the employee’s arrival and what role they will be supporting during their employment.
  • During your office tour, introduce your contingent employee to your staff and try to make connections.  This will help ease anxiety.
  • And when applicable, include them in meetings and company sponsored events.

Training & Readiness

  • Explain how the role is supporting the strategic objectives of the team.  Clearly identify the role and responsibility with a job description and offer training and have good reference resources.
  • Make sure you have the contingent employee’s workstation ready with login and passwords.
  • Make sure they have a point of contact with any questions.  Check in regularly.
  • By not taking the right approach, employers can expect higher turnover resulting in delayed projects and repeat training.

Create Benchmarks

  • Help your contingent employee understand their successes and value they offer to the organization.  If the employee has a professional understanding of how to adapt quickly to any new situation and if the employer has the work structured appropriately and with competent supervision, great results should be possible.

Know the legal requirements

  • Co-employment can be tricky so rely on the experts to offer temporary or payrolling/employer of record services to help you navigate the legal complexities of co-employment.

The contingent workforce is vastly growing and it is critical for companies to be aware of their needs.  Keeping contingent employees engaged will decrease employee turnover resulting in less time recruiting qualified and capable employees.  Offering a positive work experience will also build a strong talent pool for future projects and contracts.  Having familiar faces coming back year after year creates engagement from your permanent staff who spend less time re-training and can help build good employee camaraderie.

With a solid commitment to engaging the entire workforce, employers can maximize efficiency and grow their business.

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