This question has as much, if not more, relevance as declaring a winner in any beauty pageant. It may probably have a lot more riding on it, like the future of a company, instead of just the fragile ego of a single individual. As temporary workers increase in presence and importance, companies must redefine old notions of an attractive employer brand to focus on attributes that are of importance to permanent and extended workers alike.
In the past, a company that offered competitive wages and a good benefits program was considered an attractive employer. Much has changed. The growth in usage of temporary workers is only one factor. The proliferation of social media and changing regulations regarding health care and stock programs all require companies to rethink the value that they can offer to their workforce.
Contingent workers move on to ‘greener pastures’ at the end of each assignment, exposing the temp to many different companies and work environments. These workers are not eligible for stock options, annual recognition programs, and other benefits of importance to permanent employees. They are motivated by challenging assignments, opportunities for learning and career development, competitive pay rates, and supportive work environments. Employers put in too much effort into projecting a glorious image of themselves and the assignment, only to drop the ball quickly through low standards of workplace safety, denying overtime pay for additional hours worked, failing to provide adequate training or other ‘bait and switch’ tactics could earn brickbats for their brand.
Companies can no longer control their image through press releases, advertisements and attractive websites. Social media makes it extremely easy for criticism to spread like wildfire. For many job aspirants today, interview preparation includes gathering all possible information about the prospective employer, and the business, its strategy and future prospects. For good measure, candidates even read all news stories covering the business. Sites allow employees to share information about the company’s salary package, and encourage ex-employees to discuss the company’s bosses by name and narrate stories about their idiosyncrasies and behavior. Any online report from a disappointed employee is bound to create a negative impression about an employer and hurt the brand. While permanent employees may be hesitate to post anything negative regarding their employer for fear of job loss, temporary workers usually have no expectation of an ongoing relationship with the company and do not fear reprisals.
While successful companies are viewed as ‘destination workplaces’ and have little difficulty attracting candidates, , mediocre performers and start-ups struggle to attract the required talent, paying a premium for on-demand skills.
In attracting and retaining the best temporary talent, companies must also avoid offering perks that may raise issues of misclassification or co-employment. In essence, each company must establish an ‘employer of choice’ brand for permanent employees and a ‘workplace of choice’ brand for non-employees.
It is time to get started in building your ‘workplace of choice’ brand
Remember that it is important not to drop the ball at any point in the relationship. The recruiting process must clearly and accurately set expectations. The application process should be as short as possible, and candidates should not be left to guess whether they are still being considered. The onboarding process should arm the worker with everything needed to be successful in the engagement. Finally, the worker must be made to feel like a member of the team whose work efforts are fully supported by supervisors, the staffing supplier, and co-workers. As the employer of record, the staffing agency must partner with you to create the best possible work experience. Always remember that your best marketing efforts cannot achieve the kind of impact that will result from stories told by loyal and engaged workers.
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