Talking About Your Temps

It’s the world’s worst-kept corporate secret: using temporary workers. Every company on the Fortune 1000 and 500 lists does it. Yet when I ask companies to talk about their temporary worker strategy, they frequently come back and say, they can’t, it’s controversial or sensitive!

Here’s an example of what I am habitually told. “Thanks for contacting us yesterday about your interview with our Contingent Workforce Director. As I suspected when we chatted yesterday, we are unable to grant permission to publish the interview. Even though you did not discuss our strategies or operations, due to the sensitivities around temporary workers, we feel it is best that we not participate.”

Let me point out that contingent workers are a crucial part of a company’s operations and the bottom line. Those companies who have been featured in our magazine have realized the value of speaking about their contingent worker strategy. Here’s why. By talking about it openly, you share with the public including your shareholders the best practices surrounding your use of temporary workers. In today’s war for talent, most people realize that that is the way to go. Conventional wisdom also has it that if you treat your temps well, you’ll treat your employees the same way or even better. Attracting prospective contingents and potential employees to join your team will become easier.

Regardless of the line of business you are in, when you talk constructively about your contingent worker strategy, your brand gets promoted and the company gains publicity. This causes a positive ripple effect beginning from your CEO right down to your shareholders. So the next time a reporter asks about issues surrounding the use of non-traditional workers, don’t shrug them off by saying we can’t get permission to talk about this, it’s controversial. Think of the benefits.
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