As many HR professionals will know, we’re well and truly in the era of the contractor. Not only are these professionals in increasingly high demand, with the expansion of the flexible labour environment this career route is also becoming an ever-more popular choice for individuals.  As the percentage of staff operating as a contractor grows, HR teams face a huge challenge; motivating a temporary workforce.

While employee engagement is perhaps ‘simpler’ for permanent staff, ensuring contracting teams do not feel left out of the equation is much more difficult. There’s the perception that temp audiences don’t have access to the same incentive schemes as the rest of the workforce, from access to benefits through to the security of monthly salary payments. In order to really motivate this flexible workforce to ensure they are performing to their best abilities, HR professionals could benefit from considering these individuals in a similar light to permanent employees. However, in doing so they walk a fine line between protecting the business from contractors claiming employment rights whilst treating them as a valuable and flexible resource.

It’s important to ensure that temporary professionals are embedded into the company in a similar manner to permanent employees, after all, they are representatives of the business too. Temporary professionals must have access to business on-boarding procedures to enable them to understand the company culture and how the business operates. This element is often overlooked in bringing temporary workers on board due to the perception that they can easily move from business to business. But, in order to really include them in the organisation and give them the best starting point, they will need this initial level of orientation.

It’s also important not to exclude these individuals from conversations about the company’s performance. Not only are they able to provide valuable insight into business strategies, but it will also ensure they are driving projects and assignments in the right direction.

In line with this, HR teams need to consider how contractors are recognised and rewarded within the business. While it’s common to acknowledge the hard work of permanent employees, temporary professionals are often left out of this consideration. Therefore, it is advisable to review your current staff reward schemes and consider where it is appropriate to include contractors.

The above considerations are particularly important for future talent attraction strategies. When we consider that a contractor can be involved in more than one project for a company, ensuring they have a positive experience is key to encouraging them to work with the business in the future. On top of this, the temporary community is heavily networked and one contractor’s bad experience could be potentially damaging for a brand’s value amongst this community.

It is also often overlooked that it’s possible to offer similar incentives to contracting staff through the use of a professional employment provider.  When using such an outsourced supplier, they will provide your temporary workers with an over-arching contract of employment and become their employer. While employed by a professional employment provider, employees have the flexibility to work in a variety of assignments to support their career development, while benefiting from stable employment. Any good professional employment provider will bridge the benefits gap between the permanent and temporary workforce by offering staff benefits that have historically been perceived as unavailable to a contractor. At giant group, the employee benefits package we can offer your temporary workers, includes:

·         reimbursement of approved business expenses

·         salary security with basic pay provided against approved timesheets

·         statutory pay (holiday, sickness, parental leave) during and between assignments

·         Gap Pay between assignments and a guarantee of being offered at least 504 hours of work in a 12 month period

·         salary advances

·         access to HR support and advice.

Aside from these basic options, it’s important to assess what else could be offered to help manage and motivate your temporary workforce. For example, at giant we provide an exclusive discounted shopping scheme where employees can save as much as £1000 a year, as well as a healthcare plan and a personal pension scheme.

It’s vital to remember that contracting professionals are part of the life-blood of businesses today and need to be motivated as well to ensure they are delivering to their best ability. And if HR teams want to remain competitive in temporary talent attraction, having the right processes in place to engage these individuals during their employment can be highly valuable.

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