As companies navigate an unpredictable talent market while planning for a post-pandemic future, contingent talent has quickly become a fast-growing segment of labor today. Moreover, in light of the Great Resignation, employee engagement has become a crucial component in any successful workforce strategy. With that in mind, here are three ways for employers to engage contingent talent.
Start with a Positive Onboarding Experience
Leading organizations understand the importance of building a superior employee experience for all workers, regardless of contract type. In the past, many companies have adopted an “us” and “them” approach to permanent and contingent talent, excluding contingent employees from major HR processes like onboarding and offboarding. When employers exclude contingent workers from the onboarding stage, they miss out on opportunities to improve employee connection and brand alignment while increasing ramp-up time and worker productivity. Amid the Great Resignation, employers must ensure that contingent talent are welcomed and feel immediately appreciated, starting with a positive onboarding experience.
Cultivate a Workplace Culture That Is Inclusive of Contingent Workers
Contingent workers are invaluable assets to your organization, and should be given the same level of attention and consideration afforded to full-time employees. When engaging a contingent workforce, employers need to embed a sense of belonging and appreciation within their culture that extends to temporary talent.
To make contingent workers feel like they are truly a part of the team, employers must foster synergy between full-time and contingent staff. Encourage your contingent talent to participate in networking events, happy hours, team lunches, and other opportunities for them to connect with employees across the organization. In situations where you may need to exclude contingent workers from meetings or company events due to labor laws or compliance issues, be transparent in why you are required to do this. Smaller gestures, such as recognizing contingent employees’ birthdays and including them in company-sponsored events and communications, can also go a long way in fostering engagement.
Employers must also recognize the value that contingent workers bring to the workplace. One effective way to do this is to craft a statement in your EVP describing how contingent employees fit into your company’s business strategy. Additionally, don’t overlook contingent workers when recognizing your employees’ successes. Recognize their accomplishments personally—be it verbally or a through simple thank you note—and publicly through employee recognition programs, company newsletters, social media, or team meetings. Consider sending your contingent workers tokens of your appreciation, such as company swag or an impromptu gift card.
Establish a Contingent Talent Community
Another way to engage your contingent workforce is by establishing a contingent talent community that is deeply engrained in your company and its business goals.
Provide Opportunities for Professional Growth and Re-Engagement
Contingent workers are just as important to your success as full-time talent. Show your appreciation by engaging in their professional growth and providing them with the resources they need to succeed. Schedule regular check-ins with contingent employees to gain insight into their career objectives, then connect them with relevant opportunities to tackle new and challenging projects that can further their skills offerings and advance their career goals. Where appropriate, consider encouraging top performers to apply to full-time positions within your organization.
Staying invested in your contingent employees’ career paths is an effective way to cultivate loyalty and develop more engaged workers. Building loyalty will also increase the likelihood that contingent can be re-engaged for future assignments—which may end up saving you in costs and resources it would take to onboard and train someone new.
Establish a Contingent Workforce Referral Program
Consider leveraging top performers in your contingent talent pools, as well as contingent alumni, for referrals to other contingent prospects. A referral program will allow contingent talent to contribute to your recruitment efforts, enabling them to develop a greater sense of commitment to your company and business goals. Not only will contingent employees value their suggestions being heard, but backing your program with referral bonuses can further motivate them and improve engagement. On top of this, trusted referrals are a great way to source qualified contingent talent.
Contingent Workforce Engagement Is Crucial in a Post-Pandemic Talent Market
As employers across the globe continue to face talent challenges in the post-pandemic world, many will find themselves turning to the use of contingent resources. Amidst a highly competitive talent market, companies looking to enlist and retain top quality contingent workers must have a strong employee engagement strategy in place.
LevelUP’s Contingent Workforce Management (CWM) solution takes the complexity and risk out of working with consultants, specialists, and other gig workers. Through our customized CWM programs, LevelUP has assisted leading organizations in recruiting, engaging, and retaining top contingent talent. Our CWM specialists have in-depth experience collaborating with organizations to finetune their onboarding and contingent workforce engagement strategies. Through our Employer Value Proposition (EVP) services, we’ll portray your organization in a positive light to improve community engagement and brand reputation amongst contingent talent pools. As a mid-market CWM provider, our programs are designed to be flexible to address each client’s goals and concerns. Click here to find out more about our CWM solution offerings.