In a recent survey, 58% of firms expressed a willingness to employ temporary workers at all levels of the workforce. So, it comes as no surprise that temporary and part-time employment is the fastest-growing segment of the American job market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of part-time employees is at a record high of 28 million, while temporary employment has jumped 50 percent since the financial crisis of 2009. This phenomenon is driven by the need to cut fixed costs while ensuring that productivity remains unaffected.
These buyers are slowly adapting themselves to the challenges posed by their use of these workers. They must create a work environment that integrates the temp into the larger workforce without creating co-employment relationships. Communication must be carefully orchestrated so that the contingent worker is continuously reminded that the staffing agency is the employer of choice while being given the information and support needed to successfully complete the engagement.
Successful companies have found that the combined efforts of the hiring manager and supplier are needed to create an environment in which temp workers can make significant contributions. Some emerging best practices in this regard include the following:
One final note. The rise in the use of contingent workers, combined with the frequent lay-offs of the past few years, has resulted in a high degree of fear that employers intend to terminate permanent employees and replace them with temps. Recent examples of companies that brought their workforce below 50 to avoid ACA enforcement has further increased the anxiety level of employees of mid-size companies. It comes as no surprise that employees who believe that the introduction of a temp may mean that they are about to lose their job will be reluctant to assist the temp in coming up to speed. Hiring managers must understand the unspoken reasons that explain why contingent workers are not yielding the value to some work situations that are achieved on other engagements. Be sure that your team understands your reasons for the inclusion of temporary talent. This will go a long way towards reducing the worker’s ‘time to contribution’.
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