Onboarding can seem simple on the face of it, but good organisational integration requires both a humanised and standardised process.
When it comes to onboarding temporary employees, time is of the essence. Projects need to start fast, discrepancies ironed out, signatures collected, and both parties will be eager to begin the nitty-gritty of the work.
Unfortunately, many organisations neglect the process, as shown by the data:
Only 12% of employees strongly agree their organisation onboards well - Gallup.
For temporary employees, this number only increases with many companies undervaluing its necessity, which can lead to problems further down the line.
But by establishing a stellar process which is efficient in both speed and resource usage, companies can educate on important inner-business practicalities, improving their chances of a successful project.
The Importance of Effective Onboarding
While temporary contractors may need a less comprehensive breakdown of the company compared to permanent hires, effective onboarding should still be a priority.
Aspects such as tech stacks, day-to-day tasks, and project KPIs need to be addressed and explained. Additionally, working culture and values shouldn’t be dismissed simply because of an employee's temporary status.
These ideals are accurate for both permanent and temporary hires. Below we break this down further into 6 considerations for companies looking to improve their temporary onboarding process:
Bear in mind onboarding new employees' best practices can differ dependent on company size, tech usage, organisational structure, and employee seniority, which is why a copy-and-paste approach is often ineffective.
1) Establish a quick admin process.
The most effective onboarding pro
cesses are organised. To avoid on-the-day confusion for both you and the contractor, think about questions like;
Are the contracts up-to-date?
How long will the onboarding process last?
Who will take charge of the process and act as the initial contact?
Will onboarding take place remotely or in person?
Do they have access to new-joiner packs?
It may seem obvious, but often the simplest things are overlooked, and when they are, the admin clear-up can be time-consuming.
Additionally, onboarding doesn’t have to begin on a temporary employee's first contracted day. Consider the process holistically and give your employee a head-start by sending out company branding packs, organising an introduction call, and getting them acquainted with their project team, HR, and anybody else they may need to communicate with throughout the process.
Not only can this reduce the intensity of the first day for your employee, but it can mean less admin for you in the long run. And be organised. File away onboarding decks and information in a folder and ensure this is regularly updated with company branding and changes.
But what makes a good onboarding process? As HR company Sapling phrases it as;
2) Get the tech ready.
Over the past ten years, business tech stacks have grown extensively. And while permanent employees have the benefit of gradual exposure to these digital tools, temporary contractors don’t.
A fully organised onboarding process will have pre-indexed any digital tools your contractor may need, including easy access to admin information like passwords, programme champions (employees who have specific expertise), and an easy-to-use CRM or dashboard for candidates to use as a digital toolbox.
It’s also worth considering the seniority of your contractor.
How familiar will they be with analytical tools like Python? Or perhaps you’ve built a bespoke platform and automation system?
Throughout the hiring process, you may have confirmed a few essential programmes with your agency or candidate, but onboarding may open an additional spectrum of tools.
For less experienced contractors, having employees on hand to give introductory training or provide digital how-to packs can save you essential time.
3) Ensure your employee is well-connected.
Starting work in a new environment can be an exciting but overwhelming experience, and feelings of nervous anticipation may be rife. You can combat this by providing a human and compassionate experience for the candidate, helping them feel welcomed and encouraged.
Remember, it’s important to maintain a positive reputation, both internally and externally, and these experiences should register as part of your company branding.
“Often, candidates highlight in their feedback that clients who make them feel part of the team can help subdue feelings of isolation. Being invited to the office, to socials, etc., is a great way of ensuring good team dynamic.” Sarah, Consultant
Cultural acceptance is also a great way to prop-up productivity. No contractor is going to feel inspired to work hard if they’ve been treated with disdain or simply ignored.
You can help new employees feel included by being proactive, introducing them to other colleagues, training them in aspects like company values, and inviting them to company socials.
Also, language is powerful. Think about your communication style and avoid dismissive language that may make a worker feel isolated or undervalued. This ensures that personal resentments won’t build - replacing a worker mid-project is never ideal.
4) Identify and communicate project KPIs.
Senior candidates will often need less guidance during the onboarding process; their experience in the field means they tend to be more intuitive and proactive about projects.
In contrast, junior candidates, while tasks may be simpler, are more likely to need reassurance and support to compensate for their growing experience.
Either way, project KPIs and their expected timeframes should be communicated clearly. By doing so, employers resist becoming frustrated, and contractors avoid any confusion.
It’s important to remember that temporary contractors may be entering a project mid-way, and it may take time to orientate themselves. While it’s good to encourage productivity, patience on the employer's side is also encouraged.
5) Offer roadmap clarity.
Throughout a project, it’s easy to become lost between the trees. That’s why, just like end goals, as mentioned above, clarity on roadmaps and milestones is useful to identify at the onboarding stage.
While projects are subject to change during the process, road mapping equates to steady communication.
Introducing them to essential stakeholders will enable any bumps in the road to be sorted out at speed without compromising the project or inter-work relationships, and this can be organised as a series of introductory calls or in-person meetings.
In the long run, you can provide routine check-ins to ensure tasks stay on track. As TalentLyft demonstates below, having a clear understanding, which may be represnted by a visual, list, or other, of the onboarding process is really valuable.
6) Use an experienced recruiter as a bridge.
Onboarding temporary staff can feature lots of unique challenges, as mentioned above. One way to not only onboard contingent workers but discover them in the first place is to use an experienced recruiter like Freshminds.
We can help smooth over the onboarding process by:
Engage in a briefing call with you to capture the core essence of a role
Ensure candidates have practical skills (E.G., python knowledge)
Judge personality fits, as well as soft skills
Provide a positive and organic introduction to your organisation
Ensure practicalities like day rate and project length is agreed-upon
Support the contract-signing stage
Help you and the candidate through a temp-to-perm process if needed
As specialists in interim work, we know the temporal restraints many businesses are under. However, if the wrong candidate is chosen, this can undermine the entire project.
That’s why we ensure a dual focus; high-quality, senior candidates delivered through a fast and efficient process.