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How to Win The Contingent Worker Talent War

Posted by Tara Jones

5/12/15 6:30 AM

When you understand all the benefits of supplementing your permanent workforce with contingent personnel, you can see how important these workers are to your company’s bottom line. They can increase efficiencies, help your regular employees become more productive, and respond to fluctuations in demand. The problem is that you’re not alone in appreciating the advantages of hiring a contingent worker. More and more businesses are coming to the same realization, creating a talent war that’s in your best interest to win. 

So, the challenge becomes hiring the right individuals and retaining these workers so they don’t jump ship. There’s always the lure of better pay and benefits, and the contingent workforce has the flexibility to move on from your company. Therefore, earning your team’s loyalty and encouraging them to stay is just as important as your hiring strategy. Here’s how to find the right balance and win the war.

Start By Developing The Right Contingent Worker Team

  • Develop a program that addresses the unique objectives of contingent personnel. Unlike your permanent staff, contingent workers aren’t only motivated by a paycheck and benefits. They’re looking for other perks, like job training, networking opportunities and other career development goals. You need to develop a contingent workforce program that takes their unique goals into account, ensuring that they won’t be prompted to stray.
  • Lay out clear expectations for contingent worker performance. One of the rare occasions when you’re treating contingent workers as employees is when you first bring them on. You must provide a comprehensive outline of what the position requires and show these individuals how to succeed at the tasks you give them. Contingent workers can’t be effective unless you give them the tools to perform.

Maintain The Best Contingent Workforce By Winning Their Loyalty

  • Get your permanent employees on board early. Your full time staff may feel threatened or encroached upon when you bring contingent personnel into the mix, so you need to set the stage beforehand. When you emphasize the fact that the contingent team is coming in to supplement operations, there’s less opportunity for conflicts to arise. A well-balanced workplace will keep your contingents satisfied and less motivated to leave. 
  • Consider a plan to lead contingent workers to permanent positions. Depending on your circumstances and overall strategy, you may want to offer contingent workers the opportunity to become regular employees. If that’s the case, state your intentions at the outset and go into detail regarding the path to a permanent position.
  • Provide a unique experience for your contingent personnel. Perhaps one of the most effective ways you can get ahead in the contingent workplace war is to make the work atmosphere unlike any other they’ve experienced. Your strategy can include anything from simple motivators to more involved perks.

With these guidelines on hiring and retaining your contingent workforce, you’re in a better position to keep these individuals from heading to greener pastures at other companies. Pay and benefits are an important component of encouraging them to stay put, but there are other strategies you can implement that will prevent them from taking their talents elsewhere.

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Topics: Contingent Workers, Training Resources