What if you had to work in a different office every week? Logging in to an unfamiliar computer, figuring out the dos and don’ts of the software, sitting in a strange cubicle, not knowing where the restroom or water cooler is daunting. You have to find your way around in more ways than one. On top of that, if you aren’t productive, you will, of course, be replaced. Sound unnerving? It’s what many contingent workers have to do and that’s where an effective onboarding process helps them and you.
Staffing firms play a critical role in the onboarding process. Agency representatives make sure all the paperwork is in, such as e-Verify, background checks, state and local employment documentation, non-disclosure agreements. They also coordinate with the buyer of contingent labor on details like company ID card, security badge, logistics (phone, desk, computer, office paraphernalia) and access information required to navigate the work areas, IT systems, as well as the parking zones.
It’s a long laundry list. And this process is not the sole responsibility of the staffing firm — the client has a role to play as well. In fact, users of contingent labor have to plan as methodically as they would for their internal workers or productivity tumbles. You don’t want your contingent worker fumbling, not knowing where to go or twiddling his or her thumbs because the computer is not configured right. More important, it gives the contingent worker a poor view of your company and could even put off a quality contingent worker and their peers from joining you.
Consequently, here’s what many experienced contingent workforce managers do: They have the worker complete online forms even before the assignment starts. The tedium of paperwork is taken care of pre-assignment. Clear job descriptions as well as performance expectations can be prepared and shared up front with the worker and staffing firm. To avoid co-employment risk, make sure that the vendor is in charge of directing the contingent. We all understand that there is trademarked info that can’t be shared but you can be sensitive about it.
Ultimately, the contingent worker can only make a fruitful contribution if he or she has access to the relevant information and tools in a collegial working environment.
Managers want that as well. So don’t wait. Team up with your staffing firm, make the necessary preparations and prime your team. Treat your contingent workers with care and they will return the favor.