Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Pros and Cons of Hiring Contracted and Temp Employees

When someone is searching for a job, most of the time, their goal is to obtain a permanent position, part-time or full time. They are looking for security, a place to grow in their skills, and they don’t want to have to worry about being unemployed again. However, there are times when a need for extra help arises and that need may not be long term. Therefore, a company decides to post an opening for a contracted or temporary position. People in search of this type of position may be a newcomer to their career field—college students and recent graduates, people who have had trouble finding work—people who have been fired and unemployed for months, even years, or people with a more undefined set of skills. There are specific characteristics and situations you will be looking for in a temporary or contract employee and there are positive and negative effects for the worker and the company from hiring a temporary employee.

Some reasons for hiring a temporary employee include employee absences, maternity leave, a sudden vacancy, special projects, or a peak in the season. When companies bring on temps, they can adjust more quickly to workload fluctuations. Their temporary status provides flexibility for them and for you: they may have other commitments to work around and you may not need them for eight hours a day, five days a week.

You can also evaluate the employee without making a commitment. You can determine if they are a good fit for your company and study their work performance—if you like what you see and the possibility is there, you can decide to offer them a permanent position. On the other hand, you know exactly how long they will be working for you as a temp and can release them without a lengthy explanation if you don’t see them fitting into your company long term. Temporary employees also save cost because you can offer them a lower pay rate and are not obligated to provide a benefit program and the same goes for independent contractors. With contractors, when there’s not work for them, you don’t need to pay them. When you hire through an agency, they can quickly help you find a qualified person and you can build a relationship with that agency.

With any temporary employee, there will be some need for training because there are skills and procedures specific to your company that they need to learn. Oftentimes, these employees have a lower morale because they don’t feel like an equal part of the team—although they should be treated with the same respect as any of your full-time employees. There are safety issues they must quickly be trained on and if they don’t learn them in time, there is a greater chance for injury. You don’t want to take any legal risks, either—make sure the timeframe and other terms of their employment are set in stone. For contractors, you do need to pay them according the market rate for the type of work they do and classify them correctly for taxes. They have control over whether or not they accept a project from you, making them less reliable. Finally,contractors are allowed to also work for your competitors—if they do great work for you, they’ll do great work for them.

All things considered, you may decide that hiring a temporary employee is just the thing to fit your current company needs. Just remember that most of the time, the benefits for you are the drawbacks for the employee, so make sure they are willing to work with them.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Pick Up the Phone!

What is one of the first things you do when want to schedule an appointment somewhere or set up a meeting with a client? You call them! But have you ever called a business and the phone just kept ringing and ringing? Sometimes there may a prompt to leave a voicemail, but then it goes unreturned or the phone rings 15 times and you just give up. No one likes when this happens to them, so don’t do it to other people. Answer your phone!

Of course, that may not always be possible when you’re in the middle of a meeting or out of the building. But when you’re sitting at your desk typing an email or taking inventory in your stockroom and the phone rings, stop what you’re doing and answer it. Email is chosen as the primary method of contact far too often—people still value direct interaction and often this is a faster and more thorough way to accomplish business. Ignoring phone calls can make people frustrated with you and assume you don’t care to get back to them. It can also lead to missed business opportunities, with customers and with other businesses. Besides, what if that phone call was about a customer wanting to change their appointment? Or what if a supplier had a question about your order, but since you didn’t answer, they just made an assumption and went with it? You wouldn’t want to be unprepared or end up with 50 black polo shirts when you needed 50 white ones.

Breaking the habit of ignoring phone calls will save you time, face, and headache. Do the best you can to pick up the phone as much as possible and return calls as soon as possible. Make it happen.

© 2012 eMarketing 4 Business LLC