Hiring temporary or contract workers brings advantages for employers who are looking for seasonal help or uncertain about long-term business growth. However, maximizing engagement with these individuals presents challenges for both staffing agencies and hiring managers. Among the biggest difficulties of getting the best performance from temporary employees is building ongoing relationships and maintaining their morale.
Staffing professionals in particular benefit from fostering positive, lasting connections with temporary workers. After all, an employee who is qualified for one position will likely be well-suited for another down the line, and happy workers spread the word about the agency, burnishing its brand. Here are some strategies to go beyond making placements by engaging limited-term workers and keeping them coming back for another opportunity.
1. Get to know your candidates
The first step in building a rewarding connection with a job applicant is taking the time to get to know him or her. When staffing professionals find out more about what candidates have to offer, they strengthen their working relationships and also bring value to the employer. As the Houston Chronicle pointed out, one of major contributions that staffing agencies can offer businesses is an established network of reliable, motivated workers.
"Take the time to get to know a job applicant."
Recruiters learn a lot about candidates in the course of an assessment process and by conducting an interview. However, they can draw on other methods to discover the unique skills and particular interests of applicants. Social recruiting methods, for instance, reveal how prospective workers represent themselves online and relevant details about their training and experience. This approach also helps to forge a personal bond between the staffing professional and the applicant.
2. Maintain open lines of communication
Staffing agencies further improve their cooperation with candidates and employers alike through regular communication. Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines state that employers and agencies share responsibility for the well-being of temporary workers. That sense of accountability should extend beyond making sure employees are protected from any hazards to taking extra steps to improve their chances of success in the workplace.
By engaging with businesses and workers, staffing professionals assure the quality of their placements and encourage both parties to return for their future needs. Using multiple communication channels can go a long way in building a more productive and longer lasting rapport with a candidate. Staffers who take advantage of mobile recruiting and communicate through text messages and email as well as the phone are able to provide important information, pass along timely opportunities and expand on their personal connection with workers.
3. Set realistic expectations
Transparency is a key element in any successful, long-term business arrangement. That's especially true when it comes to creating trust between recruiters and temporary workers. Candidates need to feel they can count on the staffing agency to find suitable positions, present their credentials to hiring managers in a positive light and be honest about any prospects for permanent employment.
According to Fortune, it's particularly important for workers to understand that contingent labor is not necessarily a road to a full-time position. While staffing professionals may do their best to find candidates a permanent job, in many cases these hiring decisions have less to do with individual performance than larger factors in the industry and overall economy. Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute explained why temporary jobs are often just that.
"Temporary help is really cyclical, governed by business cycles," she said. "When unemployment is still high and continuing, there is not a lot of pressure to create or convert those jobs to permanent status."
4. Take advantage of an applicant tracking system
Juggling all this networking can get complex and confusing even for the most devoted recruitment professional. Fortunately, the right tools empower the relationship between staffers and contingent workers. Robust recruitment software offers a number of advantages for building a productive working arrangement with job applicants.
For one, a searchable database keeps candidates from getting lost in the shuffle, ensuring staffers find the right person for the job. Then, they can narrow results based on specialized requirements for education, skills or experience. Staffers are able to view applicants' credentials in simple, standardized format, allowing them to draw comparisons and exchange notes with co-workers or hiring managers.
With staffing software on the recruiter's side, maintaining a rapport with a worker becomes a streamlined and intuitive process. It's easy to track an individual's relationship with the agency, performance at various positions and communications over an extended period of time. More informed and positive interactions benefit everyone involved.
Contingent employees have a unique place in many businesses. It's the staffing professional's job to assist these workers in finding the right jobs for them and keep them feeling welcomed and engaged at every turn. Powerful recruitment software can help make those goals a reality.