Since the twentieth century, companies around the world have been utilizing temporary workers to fill open spots in their departments, provide flexible opportunities, and employ a diverse workforce. In the 100+ years since employment agencies rose to the popularity they have now, the staffing industry has grown exponentially with the U.S. spending “over $150 billion on temporary staffing and on average engaged just under 3 million temporary workers each month.“
Much like other industries, staffing has taken a hit due to the emergence of the coronavirus. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a decrease of temp jobs from 2.94 million in February to 2.04 million in April; but as we continue finding our groove during the pandemic, temp jobs are rising, with August up to almost 2.5 million jobs – an increase of 22% since April.
If you’re one of the thousands of businesses that work with a staffing company or have considered doing so, one of the most important steps in forming a beneficial partnership is to ensure that temp workers feel comfortable at your location. By helping foster their success, you may even find someone who would be a great permanent addition to your team. There are several ways to make temporary employees feel comfortable on-site, including:
Provide clear instructions
When temporary workers go on an assignment, (in LGC’s case) they’ve been given instructions from their staffing managers regarding everything from how to get into the building, to their position responsibilities, to how to check out at the end of their shift. As the client, it’s important for you to be clear and concise when providing these details and offer as much information as you can, such as:
- Who they’ll be reporting to, and how to find that person (where their office is, their cell phone number, etc.).
- What the position entails, including all responsibilities, requirements, and uniform. While this may seem obvious, one position may look different to various clients, so be specific when placing your request. In doing this, your staffing partner can find the person who’s best suited for the assignment, creating a smoother transition.
- What your safety protocols are. Should they bring their own mask, or is one provided? Will you be checking temperatures? By being upfront about what to expect, workers will feel comfortable accepting the assignment knowing you prioritize their safety.
Communicate with your internal staff
Your internal team may not understand why you’re utilizing temporary employees, which can create a rift between the two parties. They may feel like their jobs are threatened, or that they aren’t fulfilling their duties. Explain to them why they may be seeing some new faces and that they’re here to help. Through their understanding, they’ll likely be willing to help you create a welcoming environment. (Check out some more tips for integrating the teams here.)
Remember that with the nature of temporary work, this may be an employee’s first time at your location, so they might be nervous or unsure on what to expect. Not only that, but we’re living in a pandemic, causing more people to experience depression and anxiety. If possible, try to make them feel welcomed by offering a friendly smile or wave, or by asking how they’re doing. We promise they’ll remember that you took a moment to show kindness during difficult times.
Ideally temporary employees should feel confident about their assignment before they even step on-site –– that way they can hop in and start helping immediately. By going out of your way to create a comfortable and welcoming environment, workers will be empowered to put their best foot forward and build a successful relationship that lasts into the future.