Many professionals come into a company as a contingent worker because they believe it may be a gateway to become part of a company’s regular workforce. Some are into it because they like the flexibility contingent work provides. Whatever their motives, most staffing suppliers and the companies they serve strategically use their brand to recruit and capture the best talent around.
A great many companies use a temp to perm situation as a means to “try before you buy,” with great success for all parties concerned. So it’s no surprise that many contingent workers go in with the mindset that a temporary position may lead to regular employment at a company. And it’s convenient for many hiring managers not to dispel it.
So what’s the problem? The brand your company uses to attract and retain talent will also be remembered when things don’t go as planned. Take this example: A company sources a contingent worker for a temporary role and has the supplier payroll the worker. The worker is told the assignment is six months but may go permanent. After two years, the assignment ends, and the worker is given a choice of going into an internal temp pool with limited benefits or terminating the relationship. Does this sound like a way to increase brand loyalty?
Be careful what you promise and how you position your brand when it comes to your engagement of contingent workers. Don’t over promise what you may not be able to deliver. Make sure you and your suppliers are realistic and communicate the reality of the situation. Most important, when you are crafting your strategy for your contingent labor, be sensitive to what is promised or implied and communicated. It can make the difference between brand loyalty that is conveyed publicly in a positive manner or can undermine your efforts to be an employer of choice by any worker.