Contingent staffing doesn’t come without risks, you can find yourself dealing with them from every angle. Employment law is incredibly complex, and becomes more so every year. Keeping up with the changes can be a full-time job. Although you can never eliminate risk, you can certainly put procedures in place to minimise it. Here are five steps to help you manage those risks.
You can’t manage what you can’t see so visibility is extremely important. You need to understand what roles your staffing suppliers are fulfilling and how much you are spending.
How can you mitigate risks in the responsibilities of hiring and monitoring contingent workers if you don’t know who they are?
Have a detailed and managed process for hiring talent
Having a set process that all your hiring managers are educated and engaged with helps ensure nothing is missed. This will restrict hiring managers from contacting agencies that aren’t on the supply list or making offers to candidates directly without having the appropriate internal approvals in place. This causes issues with budgets and spend and can also result in a poor candidate experience. Having one set way of doing things helps avoid this.
Simple process flows are all it takes, and this helps manage expectations around timescales, and highlights any bumps you might come across along the way, such as a negative reference or a failed criminal background check.
It’s not just workers that need to be background checked either. Check your staffing providers’ credentials too. Having an approved preferred supplier list in place is vital. Rates outside of this will often be above market average and contractual documentation won’t be in place. Other agencies on the supply list may become disengaged if they know that canvassing hiring managers directly would put them in better stead than patiently waiting to be released a vacancy as they are contractually committed to do, so you’ll need to manage and police this once you’ve set it out and trained everyone on it.
Also, consider extending this beyond the recruitment process, and linking the background screening process to building or systems access for example – no badge or passwords issued until a background screen has been completed.
Make everyone part of the screening process
There’s nothing worse than finding the perfect candidate and making an offer only to find they don’t meet the legal requirements.
Self-elimination is helpful at the application and screening point as one way to avoid this. It ensures your candidates get the best possible experience, not wasting any of their valuable time. It also ensures that your hiring managers don’t need to review resumes or interview candidates that won’t pass compliance checks.
Whilst it is the supplier’s responsibility to manage the legal compliance of contingent workers, such as eligibility to work, they might not know to check for specific requirements such as a client confidentiality form or a credit check. So it’s a good idea to add in some compliance related questions at the requisition stage of your process to help highlight any specific requirements early on that need to be flagged to suppliers.
A Vendor Management Systems (VMS) can be configured to do this for you, setting up different requirements per location, job family, job title/ grade or even by cost code or hiring manager – for example, a Receptionist might not need the same level of checks that a Financial Analyst would.
Also remember, compliance isn’t just about upfront checks, it’s also an ongoing process of ensuring visas are still valid and any qualifications, memberships or certifications are renewed if required.
Recognise that in peak times you will need additional staff so plan your hiring and background screening well in advance to avoid having to rush candidates through the process. When you are under time pressure the temptation is to skip vital stages. By working with your hiring managers to forecast demand you can plan to kick off recruitment campaigns earlier to avoid this last minute rush.
Sometimes the solutions lie outside your business
Recruitment agencies devote a considerable amount of time to keeping up with the changing legal tides. They employ thousands of workers and with huge potential fines they can’t afford to be wrong. This means when you get a temporary employee from a recruitment agency, they’ve already assumed these risks for you.
Working with an outsourced provider can take this even further, as they’ll help you with all of the steps above, and help to protect your business by managing your billing and invoicing processes, making payment to contingent workers and suppliers on a timely basis. When we took over the contingent payrolling function for one of our clients recently, the transferring contractors praised us for not only the way in which we handled the migration but the fact that they now got paid on a weekly basis on the back of an approved online timesheet, rather than having to submit invoices and then wait for weeks sometimes months to be paid.
There’s no denying, if handled properly, the use of temporary workers offers many benefits, but too often the responsibility for this falls directly to hiring managers with little knowledge of the risks, and little control. Some see it as a procurement problem, others an HR issue, with no one function taking responsibility. In reality multiple stakeholders need to be involved.
Temporary staffing certainly is a challenging area, but it’s one that can be controlled. It just requires thought and consideration in advance so you ensure, either directly, or through the staffing company or an outsourced provider, that all issues are addressed.
Images: From source
This article was sponsored by Hays.
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