Temporary staff can be a valuable asset for labour-driven companies, especially in South Africa, where skilled labour is a precious commodity. Gaining on-demand access to qualified labour workers is even more beneficial, but many hiring managers believe the hiring process is over after interviewing and selecting the best candidates.
In reality, this is only the beginning of your journey with your temporary workers. Even if they are highly trained professionals, any new labour worker will require time to adjust to unfamiliar surroundings and “understand” everything necessary to the company’s operations. According to the onboarding study by Kronos of 350 companies, extended onboarding programs are linked to stronger talent, and business outcomes such as employee engagement, business reputation and quality hires.
As a leading staffing agency and labour broker in South Africa, we have learned the significance of training and onboarding temporary labour workers first-hand. This article breaks down what employers should know about this vital step in the hiring process and share five tips for training and onboarding temporary labour workers.
Securing productivity, safety and quality standards amid fluctuating staff can be overwhelming, but MASA is here to help. We are the preferred staffing agency and labour broker providing comprehensive temporary and permanent employment solutions to companies across various industries. Contact us to learn more.
Why should you be training and onboarding temp staff?
Even though they’re only working for your company on a short-term basis, temporary labour workers can significantly impact your business’s productivity, reputation, and bottom line. Every employer expects new hires to get up to speed and perform quickly, so how can you ensure your temporary employees work at their best? How do they know your expectations, who they should report to, and what you require of their overall performance? That’s where training and onboarding come in.
While training teaches temporary employees the skills and knowledge they need to do their jobs well, onboarding helps them become part of your team and integrate into your company’s workflow. Conducting rigorous background checks and interviews during the recruiting process is essential, but so is working with temporary employees after they’ve been hired. By allocating time and resources to training and onboarding, businesses can ensure that temps are productive from the get-go.
The COVID-19 Recovery
The skills gap, worker shortages, and an ever-increasing workload resulting from COVID-19 mean labour-driven industries have become increasingly dependent on temp workers. So, hiring temporary workers has been an excellent strategy to respond to business cycles. While the benefits of cutting expenses and bridging bottlenecks are apparent, the actual cost of hiring temporary labour staff is often more than expected. Maintaining productivity, safety, and quality standards with a changing workforce is challenging.
Swift but complete onboarding measures, structured training, and ongoing performance support are required to maximise efficiency and ROI from temporary labour workers.
Your 5 tips for onboarding and training success
Now that we have discussed the value of investing in your temporary workers, what can you do to better ensure that they are up-to-speed as quickly as possible, can reach their potential, and remain productive and engaged? Here are our five tips for temporary labour onboarding and training success:
1. Clear and open communication
One of the most impactful ways to improve a new employee’s job satisfaction is to provide ongoing, clear communication throughout the training and onboarding process. As a labour broker that manages employees on-site for client companies, we have seen how crucial it is for employers to make sure the right messages are being sent and received throughout the onboarding process.
Temporary workers may also feel disconnected from their coworkers and managers because they don’t feel like they’re complete team members. So, there must be ongoing communication in a non-threatening way in which the new employee feels they can ask questions and receive immediate answers about the job at hand.
2. Set clear expectations from the onset
As we’ve discussed, set clear expectations from the onset and manage them as new employees progress throughout their employment with your company. Although hiring managers to post job details, conduct interviews and inform potential hires about the work, it is up to HR, new-hire managers and supervisors to reinforce the expectations by developing a transition plan for every new temp worker.
When there is a lack of clarity about the goals and expectations of a temp worker, either new or existing, conflicts are likely to arise between staff members and could damage working relationships. By outlining expectations early and throughout the new hire’s employment, it’s easier to manage those expectations promptly and ensure their productivity.
3. Provide a hands-on training experience
We sometimes see new hires getting their training through a hurried experience at their first job or via guidance from colleagues who might not have the knowledge and skill level of someone formally trained to train them.
Although management may see this training method as an opportunity to save money and time, it often leads to a lack of understanding and preparedness among the trainees. Poorly trained temp workers create unsafe working conditions for themselves and co-workers and potentially cost the company far more in the long run.
Focus on providing comprehensive, interactive, and ongoing training that meets the needs of new hires. Your training process should equip employees with the information and tools they need to safely and efficiently produce high-quality work.
4. Develop a mentorship program
A mentorship program pairs new hires with workers who have more expertise and can be structured to fit your temp staff’s position. Consider using the ‘buddy system’, which pairs your new worker with someone who has the same job description as they do. In this way, they have a mentor to talk to and learn from who is familiar with the routine work tasks.
Another strategy has a more all-encompassing focus. Connect temporary workers based on their personalities or shared goals rather than job descriptions. It doesn’t matter what position each person holds if the objective is to ensure they all feel a sense of belonging to the company. Developing a relationship with another worker is what counts.
5. Get their feedback on the training and onboarding process
Finally, it’s essential to gain feedback from the people you’ve just trained and onboarded. Did your training strategy give them the preparation they needed to succeed in the role? If not, how can you revise it for next time? Also, what were their most impactful moments about the onboarding process? What did they learn from them? What onboarding plan changes would they recommend?
These are all powerful and revealing questions that you can ask your temporary hires to learn more about the effectiveness of your training and onboarding strategy and what you can do to improve it. Your HR team and management can use this feedback to optimise the company’s training and onboarding process for the next time you hire temporary workers.
The outsourced solution
Managing your temp labour staff can be challenging and time-consuming, but you don’t have to worry about this with a labour broker like MASA. We are a leading national and international staffing agency capable of effectively managing the critical elements of your labour needs.
Our ready to facilitate seamless hiring, onboarding and training of temporary staff in your company, managing them effectively throughout their time with you. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you save time and money on your temporary and permanent staffing needs.