Businesses are increasingly realizing the benefits of supplementing their talent programs with contingent workers – particularly for IT and professional positions . Contingent resources present an effective solution to the talent shortages of 2022 by bringing a variety of unique skillsets and experiences to the table—at the same time offering cost-savings and flexibility to employers.
That said, as the contingent talent space becomes more competitive and workers remain increasingly selective about what they want in an employer, companies need to keep their attraction and retention strategies top of mind as they tap into this integral workforce. A positive first impression is one impactful way for companies to get ahead of this added challenge. In the past, many companies have excluded contingent employees from their onboarding processes, but in today’s competitive talent market, employers must ensure their contingent talent are made to feel welcome from the very start. This begins with a positive contingent onboarding experience. Below are a few best practices to consider as you build an engaging contingent onboarding program.
Facilitate Introductions and Workplace Bonding
Contingent workers shouldn’t come into your organization feeling like outsiders. Employers need to ensure that contingent recruits are given ample opportunities to form internal connections with existing employees. Organizing meet-and-greets with current staff and key stakeholders can breed employee connectivity and positive workplace relationships. Encourage socialization over welcome lunches, after-work happy hours, leadership Q&As, and breakout sessions.
Establish Clear Lines of Communication
As with your permanent employees, contingent hires should have access to resources and support systems they need to do their job. Introduce contingent recruits to a supportive work environment from day one by making them aware of the support you offer. Newcomers should be informed who they should talk to for what, and how to best connect with those resources.
Establish a New Hire Mentorship or Buddy Program
Pairing new contingent talent with more experienced employees in the same or similar roles can accelerate learning while also creating social connections within your organization. When teammates go the extra mile to mentor their newest members, it fosters trust and positive connections between contingent hires and the wider organization, in turn driving engagement and loyalty.
Integrate Your Employer Brand and Company Values
It is critical for employers to extend their brand reach to contingent workers. Whether they end up staying with you for a month or a year, contingent employees will represent your organization and can be powerful brand advocates down the line. Onboarding is a great time to deliver your EVP and employer brand while aligning employees with your company mission and values. Take this opportunity to highlight the value that contingent workers bring to the workplace. One reliable way to do this is to create and promote a statement in your EVP that describes how and where contingent employees fit into your overall business strategy.
Allow Space for Settling In
New contingent workers will need time to digest the new information acquired during the onboarding process. Make onboarding resources—such as handbooks, resources, and so on—easily available and encourage newcomers to block time off their calendar to review these materials, ask follow-up questions, adapt to their new roles, develop their own work styles.
Continuously Incorporate Feedback and Suggestions
Build a culture for entertaining worker feedback and suggestions. Solicit feedback from new resources once they have been through your contingent onboarding program to find out how you can improve future efforts. This lets contingent hires know that you value their opinions and ideas, and that they play an important role in improving your talent management processes.
Employers leveraging contingent talent in 2022 need to consider how they can effectively retain quality workers and expand their candidate pools. In today’s candidate-driven market, a strong onboarding experience plays a crucial role in how employers engage and build trust with their contingent workforces. Companies can set new contingent recruits up for success by providing them with resources that make them feel welcome and letting them know where they fit into the big picture. By building an engaging contingent onboarding experience, you’ll also inspire loyalty, drive collaboration, and shorten the learning curve.