“Over the long term, the number of temporary employees has risen faster than the population, as the temporary workforce has gradually accounted for an increasing number of trained professionals.”
Let that quote from IBISWorld sink in for a bit. The cumulative growth of professional temp workers in the U.S. — currently at 3.1 million — outpaces that of our entire population, a trend verifying that the temp worker and contract employee are valued, respected and regarded members of the American workforce.
For as integral as temp employees are for filling short-term vacancies, weaving them into the company fabric can come with its fair share of unique challenges. For one, temp employees are expected to dive right in more quickly than their longer-term, full-time colleagues who better know the lay of the office land; plus, they may not have the same level of onboarding support.
Despite these initial hiccups, companies can ensure their new temps get up to speed fully (and quickly) by providing the resources they need to succeed and transition seamlessly into the corporate culture. Put some of these steps into motion:
Define Clear-Cut Expectations
When hiring temporary employees, it’s crucial to craft specific expectations from the outset. Define the position’s scope, duration and expected deliverables. Convey this information in detail by including it in the job posting, and communicating it to your temp during the hiring process. Clearly delineated expectations help ensure that they know what they’re signing up for, which can help avoid misunderstandings down the line.
Thoroughly Train New Temp Workers
Training is essential for all employees, but it’s particularly important for temporary employees. Unlike their full-time peers, temps may not be familiar with the company’s policies and procedures, software applications or industry standards. Nobody does during their first few days on the job, but for temps, they’re expected to adapt to a large learning curve in a shorter period of time. Therefore, taking the time to provide thorough training is critical to help temps hit the ground running. Note to employers: ensure that your temp understands — at a high level — their job duties, expectations of the role and the company’s culture.
Employ the Buddy System
Partnering a new employee with a mentor goes a long way in helping them navigate their new work environment more smoothly. Shadowing a more senior employee (ideally from the same department) gives insight into the working environment and structure, plus provides them with an introduction to the team at large, and a chance to answer any questions they may have while they get acclimated to their new position. Mentors can also serve as a point of contact for temps, helping them feel more connected to the company and its culture, which is particularly valuable if they’re ever asked to come on board permanently full time.
Establish Clear Lines of Communication
It’s imperative — critical, even — for all employees, but it’s particularly important for temporary employees to have clear lines of communication. Employers should ensure that temps have a clear understanding of who to report to and how to communicate with their colleagues. They should also be provided with contact information for key individuals within the company, such as HR, IT and their direct supervisor. By providing open channels of communication, the temp will feel more connected to the company, which can help boost their productivity.
Equip Temps With the Right Tools
Ensure that new temps have all the tools they need to perform their job duties effectively. This may include access to company software, equipment and other resources. Put yourself in their place; when they have everything they need, it fosters confidence in their role, helping boost productivity and bolster job satisfaction.
Be Company Culture Inclusive
There are no differences between temp and permanent employees when it comes to company culture inclusiveness. Invite them to company events (such as team meetings or social gatherings) and triple check that they’re included in all company communications, be it email, Slack channels and the like. You enable them to have a deeper connection and engagement with the company that speaks volumes to valuing them and their talents.
Prep Them for Success
The intent is clear. By leveraging the benefits of temporary employees, companies can stay agile and adapt to changing business needs while continuing to deliver value to their customers. Most important? By enabling them to succeed at their roles, they can better prove their potential to be considered for a permanent position.
At TalentSpark, we pride ourselves on setting professionals up for this same type of success through an intuitive, needs-based recruitment strategy. Looking for temp or contract workers? We provide a scalable, flexible model to match candidates for the duration of your open position, ensuring they are the best fit for your company’s culture and goals, regardless of the length of employment.
Connect with us now to learn more.