For companies experiencing a growth period, maintaining a robust enough roster of employees to make sure work is completed in timely fashion can be challenging.
Some, however, may benefit from utilizing temporary workers and/or part-time employees.
In some countries — including New Zealand, Singapore and the Philippines — contingent worker use is soaring, according to a recent report from human resource service provider ManpowerGroup Solutions.
Currently, nearly six out of 10 wage and salaried workers worldwide are in either part-time or temporary forms of employment, according to the International Labour Organization’s annual report.
Non-permanent roles may become an even more popular choice in the next two years. Recent research from CareerBuilder and data and economic analysis provider Emsi found temporary employment positions were expected to increase by 173,478 from through 2018.
Part-time employees and temporary workers may be able to help your organization accommodate increased operational needs without committing to hiring decisions before it can guarantee those needs will be ongoing.
The way you structure your relationship with contingent workers, though, can largely determine situation’s outcome. Consider the following suggestions:
Almost 43 percent of Workforce Management readers cited quality of work as a concern with using contingent workers; quality was, in fact, their biggest worry. Without the opportunity to advance or potentially ever become a full-time employee, it can be difficult to engage and motivate part-time employees and temporary workers. However, including them in staff communication, meetings and other events and providing the same regular feedback other employees receive can help prevent non-permanent and part-time workers from feeling like an outsider.
Provide proper instruction
Temporary workers, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, face an increased risk of work-related injury. Training is an essential part of preparing any new worker for a position, particularly if it involves any physical danger — yet, if additional help is being brought on because an organization is slammed and trying to complete tasks quickly, time-intensive training could potentially be reduced or put on hold. In the U.S., that can be a potentially dangerous and costly situation. Workplace safety violation penalties increased this year and can now exceed $124,000 per violation.
Don’t automatically assume your relationship with temporary and part-time employees is working out. The Staffing Industry Analysts Advisory Group, in a 2015 report, recommended surveying both contingent workers and managers periodically to assure all parties are satisfied and expectations are being met. Our blog on crafting an effective employee survey can help.
Be clear about their chances for employment
In many cases, an organization may hope to eventually bring some contingent workers on board full-time, once business has stabilized. In other organizations, though, permanent, full-time positions might be a long shot. Falsely implying part-time employees and temporary workers may have the chance to become full-time can discourage them from staying as long as you’d like them to. It can also cause concern among full-time workers who know the company doesn’t intend to hire new positions, prompting current employees to fear contingent workers are being brought in to replace them.
Part-time employees can be a cost-efficient way to address expanding business needs; but new hires aren’t the only individuals who might want to work less than 40 hours a week.
Some of your current employees may also be interested in going part-time, due to childcare, easing into retirement or other reasons. If your company has been thinking about implementing a flex-hour program to allow more part-time options, find out what you need to know in our blog post on flexible working hours best practices.