Think Onboarding is Just for Direct Employees? Why your contingent employees need it, too

| HR and Management Tips

The value of an effective onboarding/orientation process for your direct staff has obvious advantages – lowering turnover, improving employee satisfaction and even smoothing operating functions.  But what about onboarding for your temporary staff?

If you stop and think about it, a contingent worker faces a fresh set of challenges with each new assignment.  He has to:

  • find his way to and around a new work location;
  • learn how to use new computer systems, tools, machinery or other equipment;
  • fit into an entirely unique corporate culture.

Oh, and while he does all this, he also has to be instantly productive in his new position.

If it sounds a little daunting, that’s because it is.  Although a temporary employee is used to managing the change inherent in his role, a formal onboarding or orientation process can help smooth his transition into your organization – and make him feel like a true part of your team.

Your staffing service should take a leading role in orienting contingent workers.  At A.R. Mazzotta, we make sure that all our employees’ paperwork (such as E-Verify, employment documentation, background checks, etc.) is in line before assignments start.  We also provide temporary workers with thorough descriptions of their assignment responsibilities to shorten learning curves.  For high volume staffing users, we can even develop customized orientation materials to ensure our employees are properly introduced to your company and their positions.

You can help ensure your contingent workers are productive, safe and efficient by helping to onboard them, too.  In her Staffing Industry Analysts blog, Subadhra Sriram recommends the following tips to help you orient and assimilate temporary and contract workers:

  • Have contingent workers complete online forms before their assignments start. Instead of spending valuable time filling out paperwork when they arrive, our employees can immediately begin working for you.
  • Provide us with clear and detailed job descriptions, as well as performance expectations. Sharing this information before the assignment starts helps ensure all parties are on the same page – and are working toward the same goals.
  • Give your temporary and contract workers the support they need. Make sure they know to whom they report and who can answer their questions.  Have all the materials they will need to perform their work available and set up.
  • Review vital safety information. Although your staffing service can provide a safety orientation before the assignment starts, you should also go over essential OSHA requirements (especially for light industrial workers) once the temporary worker arrives on-site.  Be sure to review the equipment, standards and procedures involved with doing the job safely.
  • Establish a collegial working environment. Before a temporary arrives, tell your direct staff about his role and how they can welcome/support him.  Once he’s there, take a few minutes to properly introduce the temporary to his co-workers, show him where the break room and restrooms are, etc.

While these steps may sound small, they will truly make a big difference to your contingent workers.  Treat them with care and they’ll return the favor.