What Are You But Your Reputation?

This could be a bumper sticker for this decade. Between social media and the zillion other forms of communication open to folks out there, it can take just one disgruntled worker going public and your company is facing a PR nightmare.  Remember Walmart anyone?  Add to this mix the fact that many of these workers are not really your employee –but a temporary worker -- and the plot thickens.

“Don’t treat your contingent like a tuberculosis virus and wall them off in an area,” says Julie Schwartz, senior vice-president of research and thought leadership at ITSMA, (Information Technology Services Marketing Association)  In other words, make sure these contingents have a good work experience — or you are going to find that you and your company scoffed at on Facebook.

And that’s just the beginning of your problems. Company bashing on Facebook  or Twitter gets attention (and not the good variety) quickly. You are going to be scaring away potential recruits. Good quality workers — contingent or employee — have their pick of jobs. They are not going to look at a company with a bad reputation. And worse, they are going to warn their friends to do the same.

So treat them right, keeping in mind the legal stuff. You don’t want co-employment issues but it’s not necessary to get a bad rep.  The other thing to remember is that once contingents come on board and interact with your staff, there’s room to build or hurt your brand, so tread carefully. A reputation is a fragile thing, so treat it with care. 

For more information on brand protection,  end users of contingent labor can join me as I discuss the topic with Bernita Jenkins, HR business partner and program manager at Google, Kevin Francis, Motorola Mobility’s director, global talent acquisition operations and Julie Schwartz of ITSMA. The webinar takes place next week on September 14th.

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