Work with clients to make sure contingents hit the ground running

It may have taken my staffing firm two months to respond to my application, but it was worth the wait. They brought me in for an interview. I arrived in my best attire, ready to sell myself to the representative interviewing me. But it wasn’t a regular interview; I didn’t have to do much selling. He asked me a few common questions: What do I do now? What are my strengths and weaknesses? What type of position and wage am I expecting? I completed a few forms with my personal information. The rep gave me a tour of the office, showing me where the assignments come in and the process they go through to be filled.

I met the gentleman who receives the assignments. He asked me a few questions regarding my resume and even gave me a few pointers on how to help me stand out from other candidates. It was very inspiring to a single mother working two jobs to make ends meet. I definitely felt I was one step closer to my goal of finding one full-time job that would pay the bills and allow me to have a career. I was impressed with the attention and dedication of the staff. They made me feel like I was an important asset to the agency and they would help match me with the job I desired. As a potential candidate, I was sold.

As it turns out, the staffing firm had an assignment for me already: An immigration law office needed someone to work the front desk the next day. I was excited, because eventually, I would like to become an immigration lawyer. And I was thrilled to have an assignment so quickly. This was the good part.

The client side. Unfortunately, the client experience could have been better. They simply were not prepared. When I arrived ready to get to work that first day, they were not ready for me. I sat in the waiting area for a while before they brought me back to my desk. When I asked what I could start with, they had nothing to give me. Finally, the lawyer asked me to change their phone settings to ring more than once before it went to voicemail — a phone I have never used before. They gave me a manual for a different phone system than the one in use and went about their own daily tasks. I ended up finding the manual I needed online, to discover I needed a password, which no one could give me. I was finally able to fix the phone with the help of customer service. That’s just one example of the unpreparedness of the client.

Onboarding. Given how wonderful my experience with the agency was, I would suggest for the staffing firm to have more communication with the jobsite. Establish a communication process when the temp arrives at the job site, he or she has a workspace, the necessary tools and actual work to do; it’s frustrating for us to come in and twiddle our thumbs when we can contribute real value.

Temping benefits both the job site in getting work done, and the temp, as it is a learning environment, providing skills they can take to their next assignment if applicable. I enjoy being able to put my knowledge on the table, get constructive criticism or be recognized for an outstanding performance. With a few key improvements, the experience can be better for everyone involved.

So educate your clients on why they need an effective on boarding process. Given how welcome this agency made me feel, it would be worth their while to spend some time on the process further earning the gratitude of the worker and the client. And maybe they could also work on responding to potential applicants more quickly.