Most staffing firms do not pay temporary employees for the time they spend on interviewing with clients/MSPs; or even for their commuting/travel expenses. This is becoming an issue when quality guarantees fail to satisfy clients, who want to conduct pre-assignment interviews, with staffing firms supposedly employing them.
Whose baby is it, anyway?
In a recent replay of an old episode of ‘Candid Camera’ on TV, the guests checking out of a hotel were all caught unawares by an addition of $37 towards charges for usage of water to their bills. All were livid and instantly became highly argumentative – except one who said – fine, my company is picking up the tab anyway, so go ahead and charge me! That kind of attitude is a luxury not enjoyed by many contingent work seekers when they go and attend job interviews with MSPs/clients. A candidate needs to be present for an interview, and may or may not have enough money to get around and will lose out on earnings during the time spent on attending the interview; the client will never pay any costs for fear of being caught up in co-employment claims, the MSP and the supplier may find that they can never recoup the outlay of funds should the candidate not get selected or leave the job within a few months. Ultimately, the candidate is made to decide if the job is what he/she really wants and foot his/her own bills – so kindly do not add charges for water!
Objection, my Lord:
Issues like this are giving rise to lawsuits, with ways and means being explored to magnify the exposure through bringing in related claims like waiting time penalties, civil penalties etc. The dice are loaded heavily on both sides and the arguments are presented here, without any conclusion being attempted. It is for the proactive manager to take the ultimate call on what the best course of action could be.
Arguments for reimbursement by Staffing Firms:
Arguments for no reimbursement by Staffing Firms:
Strategies to avoid Risk:
If the staffing firms are unable to totally do away with the client interviews altogether, they might consider the following courses of action, in a prudent and considered manner, provided they see any benefit through them:
Up till now, few staffing companies have really paid any compensation for temporary wage workers and this new approach will see most of them scrambling to pay wages for the time spent on the interview; but the last word on this is not in yet.
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