3 key ways to optimise your contingent worker experience – Part 1 of 2

It may come as a surprise to you but your contingent worker experience is hugely important to the success of your contingent worker program. This includes every single interaction your workers have with your organisation. So, how do you ensure maximum satisfaction in this key area of your business?

In this post, we will outline the most important areas to consider and will share 3 essential factors to improve your contingent worker experience.

Let’s start by stepping into the shoes of your contingent workers.

Consider these points as a starting point.

How do they perceive the following?

  • the structure and culture of your business
  • how they as non-employees fit within that context
  • how they perceive the business
  • how they perceive their role in the overall business and in the project or requirement they’ve been engaged to deliver

Have you ever thought about what type of experience these workers have in your business?

Do you know?

Do you even think about it?

Or are you more focused on getting them into the business, getting the job done, and getting them out? Or alternately, are you only concerned about providing a great experience for employees?

The thing is, if you stop and take the time to prepare, plan and provide your contract labour with an awesome experience, you stand to gain huge benefit for your organisation.

But how do you create a great experience for contingent labour?

We’ve reviewed research from multiple sources including our very own along with Deloitte, Harvard Business Review and Josh Bersin.

We’ve come up with six major factors for you to deploy, the first three of which we’ve provided for you here: each of these will contribute to contingent labour having a great experience in your business, so that they’re engaged, happy and high-performing.

Look out for the final three factors in Part 2.

Now – time to take note and get these factors in place in your organisation, today!

Here are our 3 essential factors for improving your contingent worker experience.

1 Great Processes

Get your operations house in order. This means that at every stage of the contractor lifecycle, a positive, seamless and professional operation is in play.

And when we say ‘each stage of the lifecycle’, we mean the following:

  • Hiring
  • Onboarding
  • Induction
  • Project outline
  • Project and milestone management
  • Payments processing
  • Offboarding

Provided here, the model we use at CXC for ensuring each stage of the contingent worker engagement is smooth, slick and comprehensive. With no stone unturned, this process management framework, is integral to a positive contingent worker experience, in our client organisations.

contingent worker experience

2 Great Communication

It’s important to maintain a consistent, clear and robust schedule of communication with your contingent labour. Making them feel empowered with information is vital not only for their engagement with your organisation, but also for the positive impact it will have on their performance.

Sure, there will be many components of a project your contingent labour don’t actually need to be across. However, being in the dark – or at the very least, uncertain – is demotivating and can derail a project very quickly.

A good contractor experience includes these fundamentals of great communication:

  1. A collaborative style of communication: be inclusive by utilising the best tools for contingent labour, like an industry-leading VMS. Our preferred solutions include Fieldglass or Beeline, each of which will keep all parties to the relationship on the same page
  2. Supportive communications: when contingent labour are supported and feel like they’re ‘backed’ by you, engagement and productivity increase
  3. Be strategic with your communications:  an onsite project team (like CXC), offers a central, ‘go-to’ solution that ensures, amongst a host of other benefits, communications are consistent, transparent and effective

3 The CVP (Contractor Value Proposition)

The Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is a key attraction strategy, central to landing quality employee talent. Similarly, the CVP is the value proposition presented by organisations to attract quality contract talent.

The issue with the CVP, as rightly proposed by employer brand industry expert, Ian Moore from Moore At Work, is that the CVP really has to be aligned to industry and worker type. A gig worker driving rideshare is going to view the value prop of their organisation of choice in a vastly different manner to a high-end tech contractor working in the mining industry.

Ultimately though, we suggest leaning on your EVP, to devise and craft a CVP that fits these three key levels:

Level 1: The Big Picture

It suits the organisation’s culture, workplace, policies and approach to contingent labour engagement.

Level 2: The Project Picture

Organisations need to demonstrate strategic and tactical insights on an impending project, to attract the right contingent labour. This includes the proposed business impact and specific deliverables. Contractors seeking to acquire skills and experience in a certain category or scope of project will be attracted to organisations who are transparent about the project and the business’ expectations of it. Creative marketing will only go so far. Transparency and realistic expectation setting are just as important.

Level 3: The Job Picture

When it comes down to it, the CVP is an incredibly powerful tool; that is, if the organisation can communicate the project specifics for the job type. Typically, with multiple contingent workers sought, the best CVP is:

  • aligned to the multiple categories of contingent workers (if relevant)
  • communicated so the differences in job categories are clear
  • clear on the technical requirements
  • inclusive of cultural factors, ensuring they run through all messaging consistently.

Bonus Ideas for a Better Contingent Worker Experience

Here are a few additional factors to keep in mind for a better contingent worker experience:

  • Make sure the physical environment they work in is up to scratch. Don’t assume the current state is going to be right for a better contingent worker experience. Consider addressing factors such as flexible and remote working arrangements, inclusive office space, and quality quiet locations for working
  • Provide the right tools for them to do their job; not just the basics, but the best available in the context of your budget and project requirement. Providing quality technology is critical – a poor contingent worker experience is often linked to dated, slow or sub-optimal technology provisions
  • Offer a willingness to listen to contingent worker feedback: a positive contingent worker experience relates directly to the ability of the host organisation taking their insights, expertise and opinions into consideration within the project scope and context
  • Make sure that as an employer, you’re committed to the health, wellbeing and success of all workers. This will be evident for contingent workers to see from the existing permanent talent, and will be evident (or not) for these workers over time. If it comes to pass that this is not a priority for the business, the contingent worker experience will be negatively affected, and the likelihood of re-engagement minimised

What’s your approach to providing a positive contingent worker experience?

Or are you just starting to think about it?

As one of the world’s top suppliers of contingent worker management solutions, CXC is perfectly positioned to optimise all elements of your contingent workforce strategy. With operations in more than 50 countries across 5 continents decades of experience, we can assist with every aspect of your program.

You can contact your local team members here or if you would like to speak directly to me you can reach out to me here.

We look forward to hearing from you.