Have you employed a summer intern? Have you heard of those amazing intern programs with deliberate training, informational coffee dates, mentors and wild conversion rates upon graduation? Maybe your organization has one, and we all want one.
Shouldn’t we treat contractors the same way? They have more professional experience and thus more to offer. You’re probably paying them more than you would an intern because you have higher expectations for them and specific deliverables and results required. 20% of Premier contractors receive permanent offers; so there’s a 1 out of 5 chance this person will become a long-term member of your team. Why wouldn’t you spend a few hours to set them up for success?
There’s a more human argument to make as well. As employers, we have a duty to treat all employees equally; that means delivering the same workplace conduct, core values, and safety training to your contractors as best you can.
Premier has a dedicated People team, including Learning & Development, compliance and benefits, to help you through your co-employment. Here are a few simple, but highly impactful onboardings and trainings you can and should deliver to your contractors during their first few days to gain the most out of this mutual relationship. You don’t need fancy presentations or videos, they can simply be conversations and introductions. By using the following strategies implemented thoughtfully, you’ll be able to gain and share useful insight into the core of your company’s business: people.
Total time: 2-3 hours
- Company mission and values (15 min)
- What’s the founding story? How can this contractor demonstrate the values? Contribute to the mission?
- Company or team rules (15 min)
- Meeting attendance is mandatory? Office is closed on Fridays? Over communication is expected?
- Team culture and workstyle (15 min)
- Is timeliness highly valued? Do their teammates prefer questions via Slack or email or live? Make sure to include “unspoken norms” with common examples.
- Key contacts (30 min)
- Who is their boss? Who actually has time to help them? Who can help them acclimate and feel less intimidated? If they notice a facilities issue, whom should they notify? Make introductions so they can put faces to names.
- Internal Processes (30 min – 1 hr)
- What do they need to know about your database? How should they use shared folders? What should they listen for in team meetings?
- Hours, lunch break, schedule (15 min)
- When should they take personal calls? How much notice should they give for doctor’s appointments? When should they take their required rest and meal breaks? Who needs to know when they do? How can they help you stay compliant and track breaks?
Your contractors will talk about their experience working with you and your company to their family, their friends, and your potential applicants. Make them referral champions. Set them up to succeed.
The Bottom Line
If you’ve ever worked as an intern or a contractor, it’s not hard to put yourself in the shoes of those you’re now managing. Do you remember how your onboarding was conducted? First impressions last longer than you think, so it’s important to make sure you’re demonstrating that your organization values all of its human resources – regardless of the length of tenure.
By Stephanie Goodwin, Learning & Development Manager at Premier Talent Partners