“You can feel the divide between temporary and permanent employees.”
Unfortunately, that is a sentiment shared by too many professionals. As recruiters for both contingent and temporary opportunities, we work diligently to eradicate statements like this.
Temporary does not mean disposable!
Temp-to-hire, temporary and contingent positions have many benefits for both employer and employee – gaining new skills, meeting new people, added experience on a resume, building good work references and fast-tracking future career opportunities are just a few of the benefits.
So, why, despite all these benefits, do some people have a negative perception of temp-to-hire positions?
Built into all of us is the instinctual nature to judge situations, people and environments. Back in our “caveman” days, this ability served as a means for survival and helped us build trust and social bonds with others, and we still carry this with us today.
This is why anytime you enter a new environment, meet new people, or take on new responsibilities, you are hyperaware of being judged – because, as social animals, being accepted into a group goes along with survival.
In the workplace, it is all too easy for us to strengthen our bonds with others by dividing the workforce into smaller cliques of “permanent” and “temporary” employees, even though this may help us with our personal social survival, on a large scale, this divide can very quickly become toxic to the overall efficacy of a business.
This is why first impressions are so important. Regardless of an employee’s status, it is important to make everyone feel welcomed and like they are part of a unified team. Taking the time to train your contingent staff in the same manner and timeframe as your permanent staff can be a great place to start.
As a temporary employee, it is also important to demonstrate your value as an employee –initiate conversations with your superiors and fellow employees, take interest in their work and show a willingness to learn.
Try to go above and beyond the work assigned to you to show your commitment. Asking questions, volunteering to take on more tasks, asking for training sessions and getting involved in professional and social company activities are all great ways to stand out in the eyes of your employer and co-workers.
For employers, highlighting your company culture during the initial interview is essential, but it is also important to make sure your temporary staff is included in the culture you have sold to them. By not doing this, you are fast-tracking disappointment from the newest members of your workforce through failing to meet the expectations you set.
Overall, companies should view their temporary staff as a benefit, and corporate actions should reflect this. From a business perspective, contingent workers help reduce overall staffing costs by keeping your permanent employees from becoming over-worked, and when employees are made permanent, they come fully equipped with the training and institutional knowledge needed to be successful on Day 1. Well-trained and capable candidates are heavily prescreened through staffing agencies like Bridge Personnel.
If your business is thinking about utilizing temporary workers or a contingent workforce, it is important to build a program that values its temporary workers and sees them as more than a number or a warm body in a seat; they are people with personalities and professional aspirations.
Maintaining a high productivity level from your temporary workforce requires providing hands-on training, listening to constructive feedback, finding opportunities to take on extra responsibilities, creating equitable KPIs for both permanent and contingent workers, and cultivating a team environment where all of your workforce feels valued.
If you choose Bridge as your staffing agency, most of your temporary workforce will become permanent employees, so it is important to plant the seeds of success early so that your business can prosper!