As more employers opt to fill talent gaps and increase workforce agility by contracting with staffing agencies for temporary workers, some don’t realize that is is possible for things to not go as smoothly as planned.
However, demand only increases. That growth is expected to continue as the overall workforce expands. Many in HR predict an increasing reliance on temporary staffing agencies as it becomes harder for companies to find talent on their own. Educate yourself on the potential problems and legal risks to avoid trouble down the road.
Temp workers are best suited for completing a specific project, filling in for someone on leave, and handling a sudden influx of business. If it’s not for one of those purposes, it’s probably best to hire a regular full-time employee.
A temp who alleges a hostile work environment could sue both the company and the staffing agency. And, if the agency isn’t paying a fair wage, the company could be the target of a lawsuit. Having temps work side by side with regular full-time employees for lengthy periods should be avoided.
Staffing agencies provide general safety training and that “host” employers educate workers about the dangers specific to their worksites. No-shows can be a real problem. Never promise to fill an order before workers are lined up and always screen workers for soft skills.
How to Minimize Problems
Staffing agencies and HR can work together to avoid potential issues by doing the following:
- Ensure that HR is involved. HR can interview three candidates for each temporary position and helps weed out those lacking people skills.
- Communicate clearly. To ensure a good match, HR should speak with the staffing agency recruiter about top priorities for a particular opening. For higher-level jobs, a short phone conversation with HR, the staffing recruiter and the line manager can save time. Get the companies full culture and vision. Getting feedback about individual workers can also help.
- Provide detailed job descriptions. Make sure the contract specifies when you need someone who is proficient at a particular skill and not merely competent. You might specify a minimum score that workers must earn on tests in their field.
- Conduct spot checks. Provide a copy of the workers’ driving records or background checks.
- Focus on safety. Have a representative tour facilities and meet with the safety manager. Temporary staffing agencies and the companies that contract them share responsibility for safety. So, good communication is needed to ensure both understand any hazardous work conditions that may exist and what training each will provide to ensure that temp workers have safe work environments.
About World Wide Specialty Programs
For the last 50 years, World Wide Specialty Programs has dedicated itself to providing the optimal products and solutions for the staffing industry. As the only insurance firm to be an ASA commercial liability partner, we are committed to that partnership and committed to using our knowledge of the industry to provide staffing firms with the best possible coverage. For more information about Staffing Professional Liability Insurance or any other coverage, we have available to protect your staffing business, give us a call at (800) 245-9653 to speak with one of our representatives.