If finding and recruiting staff is difficult, holding on to them can seem impossible.

The number of opportunities available for people who want to work and have the right skills means that almost as soon as a new employee turns up to work they are already being tempted away by a competitor.

For the contingent workforce the idea of employee retention is almost a contradiction in terms – after all, here’s an employment resource designed to be flexible, agile and ready to turn up (or not) at a moment’s notice. But even last year the recruitment industry was highlighting the need to engage properly with this segment of the workforce. The message is clear – if staffing suppliers and their clients want to ensure access to non-permanent talent, they need to put in as much effort to engage with this employment resource as they do with permanent staff.

Loyalty from any type of employee pays dividends. In the temp sector good retention means recruitment agencies, MSPs and Master Vendors can consistently fulfil contracts using known and trusted talent. For the end-user employer there’s the certainty that the workers turning up know their business, know what the work demands and can hit the ground running. Moreover, if the employer treats them well they will be happy and motivated employees, willing to go the extra mile despite their temporary status.

So how can retention and loyalty be grown in this employment scenario?

In some areas contingent staffing already has advantages. According to an article from IT Marketplace Spiceworks, redeployment improves retention. For full-time employees this means having the chance to move around their organisation to take on new and interesting projects. For temp workers this pretty much happens automatically. The article also highlights the importance of having a good experience in the first 30 days of employment. However, that good experience should last well beyond the first month. If a worker is happy with their arrangements – projects are offered, they’re onboarded smoothly, pay and conditions are clear and delivered as expected – they are more likely to stay in that employment relationship.

Making the relationship work efficiently

Digitisation can be key to achieving a smooth onboarding experience and a great ongoing relationship. In today’s joined up app-led world it is possible to enter an employee’s data just once and have this shared from front to back office, across agency and end-employer alike. Contingent staff can be given complete transparency around their work with real time information on projects coming up, those completed, their tax status and pay.

In the opposite direction, technology can enhance the relationship between the staffing supplier and their client, who can submit their requirements, see which workers are supplied and keep control of costs relating to each project.

Pixid’s own technology enables this kind of sharing to take place. Through one digital tool or app, essential documents and information can be securely and rapidly uploaded and exchanged between supplier, worker and end-client as required.

Integration between VMS and agency CRM / ATS technology can further extend this digital staffing workflow, enabling the ongoing engagement and nurturing associated with a ‘Connected Recruiting’ approach to be applied to the contingent workforce.

Two women at work looking at laptop together during lunch break

The benefits of a great relationship

Further advantages are realised because of the smooth flow of information between staffing suppliers and their clients. There is improved efficiency in the placing of workers, fewer instances of re-inputting data and fewer stumbling blocks between an employer having a need for talent, the worker doing the job and receiving their pay. Transparency through technology means if queries do arise they can be dealt with swiftly. This level of efficiency also means organisations are keen to maintain relationships with their suppliers rather than continually searching for new sources.

Creating a consistently good employee experience means that contingent workers have a positive reason to continue in that position, working for that agency. Not only that, but with less to worry about in terms of information flow and contingent staffing processes, agencies and their clients have more time and space to give employees the care and attention they deserve.

Just because contingent workers may drop in and out of your business shouldn’t mean they feel any less engaged or less entitled to a great employment experience. With the cost of living crisis more people are considering taking part-time and flexible work that enhances their pay and suits their lives. With the right technology in place, agencies and employers can gain a strategic advantage to attract and retain the best of this talent.

By Simon Kent, Editor Global Recruiter