Although we are taking steps to return to work here in the UK, there is still a huge amount of uncertainty for many sectors. Many businesses will turn to temporary recruits to offer additional and readily available, support during this difficult time. If managed correctly, it provides flexibility to both parties who have been badly affected by the COVID crisis, but how should you go about managing a temporary workforce in a world of agile working and social distancing?
It is more important than ever for employers to develop an engaged workforce. Temporary team members often feel ‘isolated and not well-respected by other employees’ if an organisation is not prepared for them. However, benefits include immediate availability, no wasted hours and higher productivity.
This guide will help you prepare your business for temporary recruits as the lockdown eases, allowing a fast recovery for any damage caused by COVID19.
Are you prepared for Covid-Safe working?
All employers have obligations, check the GOV website to see what applies to you dependent on your workplace setting:
- Construction and other outdoor work
- Factories, plants and warehouses
- Home environments
- Labs and research facilities
- Offices and contact centres
- Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery
- Shops and branches
- Vehicles (covering couriers, mobile workers, lorry drivers, on-site transit and work vehicles, field forces and similar)
To ensure your staff, new & returning, feel comfortable and able to work to the best of their ability, social distancing measures must be in place. Upon arrival workers will now expect to see arrows & space markers on the floor, plenty of hand sanitiser and PPE for customer facing employees.
Social distancing checklist:
- Create a one-way system (if possible)
- Apply arrows and distance markers
- Equip doorways and communal areas (and more if needed) with hand sanitiser
- In an open plan environment, add screens to separate and protect workers
- Encourage use of stairs over lifts (and limit lift capacity)
- Inform employees, new and old, of all measures in place and add clear signage
- Increase cleaning frequency
- Offer PPE where possible
Increase communication & support
Joining a new business as a temporary employee has challenges at the best of times. As an employer you can increase your temporary recruits’ productivity and impact by keeping communication clear and open, especially now with so many changes happening within the business.
With face to face meetings unlikely in the near future, use technology to bridge the communication gap and ensure temporary employees receive the same support as permanent team members. Find what works for you, whether it’s a weekly Zoom catch up, short daily phone calls or frequent chats via Microsoft Teams – Keep your temporary staff included.
Listen to all of your employees, understandably they will have concerns when returning to work.
For many organisation temporary staff will be key to getting through this testing time, but like your permanent workers they will need more support to ensure they give their best in their new role.
Flexible working hours
Reduce the risk of busy periods at entrances and exits by allowing staggered starts or flexible working hours where possible. As well as making your workplace a safe space, giving your employees shows your trust in them and helps to develop an engaged workforce, especially important when working with temporary staff.
Again, communication is key to achieving success here – ensure all employees are aware of the timings of their shifts and any changes that come up.
Maintain a positive employer reputation
Through social media and word of mouth, employees and ex-employees are a key factor in maintaining a positive reputation as an employer of choice. Ensure your temporary recruits go on to be advocates for your business by including them in all internal communications, providing them with the same facilities as permanent team members and conducting an exit interview to constantly improve.
It all starts with the recruitment and on-boarding process, with temporary recruits this is often a fast process. Ideally your business will have an adapted training process for temporary staff to get them up to speed with out wasting time. As you would with a permanent new starter, ensure your contractors are given sufficient support and contact numbers of the people they can reach out to for help in their first few days.
When the contract comes to an end, conduct an exit interview to learn how you performed as an employer. Take suggestions and critiques onboard to learn how your business can support staff better in future, allowing your contractor to feel valued and with a positive image of you as an employer once they move on.
Managing your temporary workforce
If it is new to your business, temporary recruitment can be a lot to manage. Consider working with a specialised agency to guide you through the process and support you and your contractors. Peopleforce Technical Recruitment offer tailored recruitment solutions to businesses within Medical Device, Pharmaceuticals, Aviation & Manufacturing industries. From finding the right candidates to managing payroll we can take the pressure off you during this difficult time.
Our consultants build bespoke solutions that work for each client. Our process includes (but is not limited to):
- Talent pooling: We have reliable candidates in our network that are ready to go, to provide short or long term cover.
- We promote our clients as quality employers to engage the best candidates.
- In person or online assessments to test candidate abilities specificallyfor your business’s needs.
To learn how Peopleforce can support your business contact us on 01273 830810 or email@example.com.