Agency workers now make up a significant proportion of our labour market, with 1.2m workers placed in temporary or contract jobs every day. A quarter of British adults have been agency workers at some point in their careers, meaning it’s something a good many of us have experienced – or will experience – in our working lives.
Engagement is Critical
These statistics are drawn from the recent research report conducted jointly by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and the Involvement and Participation Association (IPA) which has produced a series of recommendations for good practice whether you are placing a temporary worker or using one. Engagement of candidates is critical to maintain the relationship whether permanent or temporary. In a market where availability of candidates continues to decline sharply, temporary worker day rates are on the up. As a result, what is increasingly happening is that these candidates are going for jobs with higher rates despite having already committed to other contracts.
Make them feel valued
To prevent this without using merely a financial incentive to attract or retain temporary candidates is to make them feel valued. Granted this is easier said than done when some contracts are short term holiday cover, however when temporary staff are employed longer term they bring with them a wealth of knowledge built up over time. Working within various organisations, often with experience of various methods and niche skills, means they can bring a depth of flexibility. Familiar with working with a range of personalities, they are likely to be able to integrate quickly with an existing team. The nature of temporary work also means they are relatively self suffficient and will be able to work autonomously.
Embracing this experience can often enable existing work forces to learn and develop, however this can only be achieved when the temporary worker feels engaged with the business. As the report says, it comes down to recognising the specific motivations of someone working on a shorter contract while ultimately treating them the same way you would a permanent member of staff.
Maintain the Relationship
The responsibility doesn’t wholly sit with the company for whom the candidate is working. As the person responsible for Rosemont’s temporary workers I take pride in the fact that our average temporary contract duration is 4.3 months. My team and I have achieved this through working in partnership with the companies for whom we are providing temporary workers to help them engage with the candidate. Maintaining the relation with our placed temporary workers and keeping our finger on the pulse ensures that they remain engaged and happy within their roles and allows us to swiftly identify and rectify any issues that they may have.
Flexible working is here to stay and needs to be embraced.