While much of the news surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the economy has involved job losses and business closures, there is another side to the story. Surging demand online has led to immense pressure on supply chains and logistics providers, while many manufacturers and businesses in previously-niche industries have recorded new waves of interest. The result is a labor shortage—and with it, the potential for delays and lost revenue.
Many businesses have a newfound reliance on temporary workers. Whether they are placed into the position through temp agencies or selected via the company's own hiring process, temporary employees can fill in the gaps to meet deadlines and help businesses achieve their targets during chaotic quarters. How can businesses make the best use of these resources without making costly errors?
Avoid Cutting Back Onboarding Processes
Although they may have a pressing need for labor, it is crucial for businesses to maintain consistency in the procedures that they use for hiring. This consistency includes, where allowed by law, requiring temporary worker background checks such as the US OneSEARCH and properly vetting every individual before bringing them on board. Just because an employee may only work at the company for three to six months does not mean that they cannot pose a risk to the business or its customers.
While striving to fill labor shortages, do not lose sight of the need to safeguard against the risks of negligent hiring.
Don't Miss the Chance to Permanently Hire Top Talent
When a temp's contract ends or they complete their assignment, should you let them walk out the door? For many businesses, it is a reasonable idea—they have filled a need and no longer require the role. However, from time to time, businesses may identify temp workers who are particularly good fits for the business or bring essential skills to the table.
Developing a complete temp-to-hire pipeline in advance will allow you to make an offer early and potentially avoid losing a valuable addition to your permanent team.
Foster Team Cohesion with an Inclusive Culture
Be aware of the friction that can result from the mingling of full-time employees and temps and mitigate it by promoting a company culture that keeps everyone on an equal footing. Treating temps as valued, respected team members increases your likelihood of identifying and encouraging the employees you'd like to bring on board permanently.
Some industries, especially the logistics sector, will continue to require larger numbers of temporary employees as pandemic-related economic factors persist. Others have always relied on temps, but new realities merit a re-assessment of their role. By applying the same principles to these workers as full-time employees, from properly vetting them at the time of hire to providing a pathway for advancement, companies can make the most of this vital labor resource.
About Michael Klazema The author
I am part Marketing Technologist, Product Owner and Innovation Accelerator. I can help organisations with two challenges:
- How to move from an organically grown martech stack and a loose set of innovation initiatives to a state which synchronizes a customer focused strategy with a well thought out governance structure and strategy for marketing technology and innovation initiatives. I specialize in predicting which technology trends will more quickly than expected pass the peak of inflated expectations and provide opportunity for value creation and competitive differentiation.
- How to define the right organizational structure like a lab, Center of Excellence or Shared Service Center for enterprise wide Personalization, Next Best Action, Customer Engagement or Marketing Automation programs and select teams and technologies to scale such programs more rapidly.
I am experienced in managing traditional and agile marketing and software development teams as well as running user experience, design thinking, conversion rate optimization, experimentation and digital innovation and transformation programs.
Both on the agency and client side I have led product teams through functional site enhancements, site redesigns, software selection, martech platform introductions, and software re-platforming exercises.