The contingent workforce - made up of freelancers, consultants and independent contractors - has rapidly become a significant part of today’s workforce. For that reason, it’s essential that companies create a workplace culture that attracts and engages contingent workers.
Employees are now seeking an enjoyable place to work, rather than looking solely at career development and remuneration. This has made employee engagement a key aspect for any company that wants to hire the best talent in their field. This is no different for the contingent workforce.
It’s important your contingent workers do not feel left out. You want to make them feel valued and let me know that they are a ‘real’ part of your business. After all, the appeal of becoming a contractor is often the ease of choosing who to work for. If a contractor doesn’t feel valued during their time at one company, why would they go back to work for them on a second project?
It’s more than likely you’re doing a great job engaging your full-time employees, but it’s possible there's more you could be doing to make contractors feel at home. Here’s three tips to help you acquire and retain the best contingent talent:
1 - Understand the contingent workforce
Contingent workers were previously seen as temporary employees who weren't worth investing in. they would simply come in, do a specified job and then leave within a short time frame and not return again. This is no longer true.
Today’s contingent workforce, making up what is known as the gig economy, is made up of highly trained professionals who each possess their own specialized skills. They offer contract and freelance work on a project or seasonal basis, however they usually work for the same company over a long period of time.
Contingent workers are free to choose which company and projects they pick up, often they can work remotely, and they can generally decide the hours that they’ll work and the pay they want to receive.
Your company must understand exactly what today’s contingent worker is looking for. Failing to do so will prevent you from meeting their needs, and in turn, will see top talent move on to your competitors. Word of mouth is strong and if a contractor has a bad experience with you, that news can spread to other top talents.
2 - Extended value
Contingent workers often take on contract work for increased flexibility and the opportunity to control the jobs that they take on. This doesn’t mean they’re entirely different from full-time employees though. Contract and freelance workers are still looking for ways in which they can further develop their skills through training, as well as advance their career.
Just like any worker, contractors value the opportunity to advance in their careers and tackle challenging work. This could involve simply offering contingent workers the attractive opportunities to work on new projects which will further their skills development. Or make them aware of training and course opportunities they might be interested in to develop new skills.
Going above and beyond for your contract workers will keep them satisfied and content working for your company, and will encourage them to continue to work with you rather than hopping over to another company.
3 - Shake up your talent management
You need to make sure your company stays competitive and you will only do that if you have the best talent your industry has to offer. The war for talent is becoming increasingly more aggressive, and certainly more so if your industry is experiencing or expecting a talent deficit.
Revamping your management solutions to make use of an outsourced company that can manage your talent pool will ensure you have access to the best contingent workers at all times. This managed database will not only allow you to keep on top of contingent workers who have previously shown their aptitude and reliability within your organization, but communication with them will allow them to feel part of the team.
There are plenty of other technologies that should be embraced for your contingent workers to feel more connected with your company. A Vendor Management System, for example, will help you to manage and pay your contract workforce, and will let your contract workers perform essential tasks such as letting you know when they’re available and submitting expense forms.
The contingent workforce is becoming an essential part of business in all industries. Let your on-demand workers know they’re important with a company culture that makes them feel important - you’ll reap the benefits later on.
Need help implementing a contingent workforce strategy? Contact HCMWorks today.