Employing a temporary workforce can be an opportunity as well as a challenge. By allowing businesses to link their labour intake with market conditions, they facilitate nimbleness and agility. Companies that work with temping agencies also enjoy access to a pre-vetted and skilled workforce, greatly simplifying the recruitment process. A temporary work model also eliminates many of the costs associated with permanent employment such as leaves and social security, rendering it an attractive short-term option for businesses.
On the other hand, an ad hoc workforce with little or no scope for professional enhancement is susceptible to low motivation levels. The induction of temporary workers is also subject to government regulations making compliance imperative.
Management Best Practices
The benefits of a temporary labour force can only be realised when there is a responsive management in place. Companies that employ temporary labour must inculcate necessary best practices in the interest of a successful hiring initiative. Here we list some of the unique challenges facing companies that hire ad hoc workers along with tips on successfully handling them.
1. Know the Law
Temporary hiring in the UAE is regulated by the government. The law mandates the possession of a UAE residence visa and labour permit in case of non-Emirati nationals. The parties must also sign a personal secondment agreement ratified by and filed with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) for the arrangement to come into effect. Residency visas may be sponsored by the employer, the recruitment company, or head of the household.
Companies should get in touch with a lawyer specialising in labour law to gain a good understanding of potential legal issues. They should also seek legal assistance while preparing the paperwork.
2. Follow Rigorous Hiring Standards
Just because temporary employees are pre-vetted doesn’t mean you should relax your hiring standards. One of the biggest mistakes that employers make pertains to the application of lax recruitment standards for temporary employees. Best practices enjoin companies to perform background checks on potential hires especially if they are being recruited for sensitive positions. Companies should also verify and retain copies of employees’ government IDs, licences, professional certificates etc. so that they can be retrieved later.
3. Don’t Skip Onboarding
Since temporary workers are employed for short periods, many companies tend to do away with the onboarding process. This is counterproductive because employees take longer to understand the systems and processes followed by the company in the absence of a formal onboarding programme. Since temporary employees are, well, temporary, there is no need for a full-scale induction, but organising an abbreviated version of the same can help them slip easily into their roles and start generating ROI.
4. Set Clear Goals
Setting clear goals and expectations is central to the project. From the job description to the employment letter, onboarding, and also during supervision, the goals and objectives of the assignment must be clearly etched out.
If there is the potential that the assignment could be converted into a permanent job, then this too must be communicated. One of the most effective ways to help an ad hoc employee settle into their job is to establish a mentorship programme. The communication of goals and objectives should be accompanied by regular feedback so that employees are aware of how they are performing.
5. Fair Treatment
The secret to getting the best out of a temp lies in keeping them motivated. Managers should refrain from treating temporary employees as second-class citizens. They should also facilitate cordial relations between the temporary and permanent workers on their team.
As far as possible, temps should be included in meetings and correspondence. This creates a sense of belonging and drives engagement. Since temps have wide exposure to different companies, seeking their opinion on various business issues could prove to be worthwhile as they may throw up novel insights.
If you come across a great temp, give them a good report and note down their details so that you can contact them later if the need arises.
Mind Their Temporary Status
Although it is important to treat your temporary workforce well, don’t forget their short-term status. Keep sensitive files and company secrets away from them. Similarly, there is no need to include them in every correspondence or internal meeting. Balancing their short-term status with the need to keep them engaged and motivated is the key to getting the best out of your temporary workforce.
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