Last March, Jeremy Neuner, the author of The Rise of the Naked Economy: How to Benefit from the Changing Workplace indicated that we are becoming a nation of permanent freelancers and temps. "By 2020, more than 40% of the US workforce will be so-called contingent workers," he said, mentioning a study conducted by Intuit in 2010. "That’s more than 60 million people."
If you’re not concerned with how your contingent workforce views your company, it’s time to change that. Look at temporary workers as continuous candidates with whom you must keep in touch, whose moves as well as next availabilities you must know at all times. In other words, build a live network of your contingent workforce! Here are the two main reasons why:
Company's Knowledge: A temporary worker is a worker that your company ultimately trains and ends up building up precious knowledge that you may want to leverage down the road. You may not need this worker more than six months, but you may need her a year down the road. Repeat "seasonal workers" are always more efficient the second time than the first!
Company's Brand: Don’t sell your company short by making a bad impression on your temporary workers. Their work may be temporary but the stories they may tell about you may not. Even if your temporary workers never become a permanent part of your workforce, they will carry memories and experiences with them when they leave, and as is human nature, they’ll likely talk about it. It’s vital that as your contingent workforce flows in and out of your business, they don’t spread negative feedback about your company. While they may only seek temporary work, their friends, family and neighbors will hear what their experiences were like. Your employer brand should leave an impression that accelerates your company’s reputation as a great employer.
Temporary workers can be extraordinary evangelists. Treat them well at all times. Keep in touch with them. Provide them with valuable information. Keep them informed about the webinars you offer. If they are not available at a time you need them again, they will help you find people they trust!
Do you promote your employee brand within your contingent workforce and how efficient are you in maintaining a relationship with them? Let us know how you do so in the comments section below.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs.