A Little Can Go a Long Way
The relationship between a temporary employee and the staffing firm that places her can be mutually rewarding on many levels. All too often, however, this relationship is neglected and is sometimes lost entirely in the race to service clients quickly and accumulate billable hours. In some respects, this is understandable, especially given the fierce competition among staffing firms and the volatility of the U.S. economy over the past several years. Some staffing firms believe their success lies solely in volume and the speed with which positions are filled – and many of them are correct in their beliefs.
The majority of staffing firms, however, are far better served to develop a relationship with each temporary candidate as they move through the recruiting and screening processes. Often, a personable and direct explanation of the company and its impression of a candidate’s strengths or weaknesses is all that is needed to foster a foundation of familiarity that will benefit everyone in the future.
When a candidate becomes an employee, that relationship should be nurtured by regularly asking the new employee for feedback on their current position. Sometimes the simple opportunity to discuss areas of concern will alleviate an employee’s frustration, perhaps avoiding lackluster performance or an unexpected termination. Knowing that a position is temporary and that its conclusion is inevitable, it’s always a good idea to speak to the employee about other positions that may be available. An employee that feels informed about upcoming positions is far less likely to hastily file for unemployment benefits after an assignment ends. This approach not only fosters a team atmosphere amidst your employees, but it ultimately helps the bottom line as well.
The Door Swings Both Ways
The responsibility for communication does not, however, lie solely with the staffing firm. Temporary employees are often biding their time with staffing firms while continuing to search for a ‘good job’ or career opportunity. While there is nothing wrong with this approach, employees should be upfront about their intentions when entering into a relationship with a staffing firm. Often times, a staffing firm can provide career opportunities for temporary employees that they would not have been able to access on their own. And contrary to popular belief, a good temporary employee is of great value to a staffing firm and many firms will work diligently to see that dedicated employees are happy in their positions.
After an employee has demonstrated their ability and willingness to be productive for staffing clients, they can often be more specific about their preferences for upcoming assignments. Many recruiters will work closely with proven employees to determine the positions that best fit their skills and personal goals.
Eventually, if successful employee chooses to leave the staffing firm for a better opportunity elsewhere, the staffing firm can provide an excellent reference for the future employer. A successful temporary employee will often be given assignments in a variety of positions, which can only help to increase their value to a prospective employer outside of the staffing world. In any business model, open communication going to be a key to success. In the staffing industry, communication creates opportunities for everyone to win.