How to attract better temp workers and keep them coming back

Jeremy Staffing

Businesses have become highly reliant on temporary workers in recent years. In May 2015, temporary help reached an all-time high in the U.S., accounting for 2.4 percent of all private sector employment, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. However, just because your organization is not ready to bring on more permanent staff does not mean just anyone will do. Every job calls for particular skills, and each workplace has a unique culture.

Continually finding new temporary workers who fit the bill can become a tough and time-consuming challenge. That's why it's vital to have talent acquisition software that simplifies the process of seeking out and hiring contingent employees in addition to creating strategies for building strong relationships with these individuals. Here are some tips for developing a more effective approach to talent management that will ensure your company always has the right person for the job.

Hiring great temporary workers
Just like the search for a permanent employee, finding exceptional contingent workers starts with having a clear idea of what you're looking for and spreading the word. The way you phrase a job posting and where you publicize it are two factors that play a big part in the responses you receive. Providing a clear representation of the job's requirements and expectations as well as the overall atmosphere in the workplace will yield far better results than a boilerplate description.

"Start with a clear idea of what you're looking for."

Cast a wide net by posting this description to third-party sites in addition to an internal job board integrated into the company website. In some instances, the best choices for a position may already be busy with one temporary gig and not yet be actively searching for a new job. Using social recruiting techniques, you can source even passive candidates based on online profiles and learn a great deal about them in the process.

Once you have some options, an applicant tracking system makes selecting candidates to move forward in the process much easier. With these tools, you're able to scan quickly through the key pieces of information in a standardized format and organize the candidates according to the skills or experience most important for the role. View ranked lists to efficiently pick out which individuals are most likely to fit into your organization. Then, place them on the short list and make initial contact about the position with a click.

Building loyalty
Bringing quality workers into the fold on a contingent basis is one thing, but inspiring loyalty in these employees can be considerably more difficult. After all, if they cannot expect to keep a job for many years to come, why should they feel any allegiance to a business in the meantime? It's up to employers to demonstrate that even a short-term position is truly worthwhile and inspire temps to bring all their skills to the tasks at hand.

In fact, it's in a company's own interest to treat temp workers well and help them feel a sense of belonging. According to a study published in the International Journal of Services, Economics and Management, contingent employees become loyal to an employer or agency out of reciprocity. That is, they are more likely to take a serious interest in serving an organization if they feel confident the employers are truly invested even in workers who are there on a short-term basis.

There are a number of ways to develop this two-way street with employees. Sometimes it can be as simple as showing temps the same respect as permanent ones by communicating regularly and verbally acknowledging when they do excellent work. However, more substantial rewards, like cash bonuses and opportunities to earn paid time off, can go a long way toward forming a strong rapport.

JobscienceIncluding temporary employees in the office culture can inspire loyalty.

Developing ongoing relationships
Often, nurturing the development of a worker hired for a limited time can prove fruitful in the years to come. Many businesses come to see contingent employees as a major resource and therefore strive to build long-term relationships. The employee is apt to be interested in pursuing such a relationship if it will eventually lead to a permanent position, or at least to further work and a positive referral.

Sociology professor Erin Hatton discussed with NPR why many employers perceive temps as especially efficient team members. She explained these workers can be highly motivated by the desire to find a long-term post and build a career. They may therefore put more effort into a role than employees who feel secure they are in it for the long haul.

"They're extra creative," Hatton said. "They're extra productive in the hopes of being converted to permanent status."

Staffing software facilitates extending these connections by bringing efficiency and meaningful data to every step of the process. Everything from onboarding a new employee to producing and monitoring reports can take place within a single solution. With a centralized hub, you can gather and share the information necessary to form relationships with promising candidates and lay the groundwork for your organization's future.