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Hiring fixed-term, zero-hour, and freelance workers
Types of temporary workers
There are different types of temporary workers. Those on fixed-term contracts, those on zero-hour contracts, and freelancers and even those employed on a part-time basis. With your project agreed, the first thing to decide is exactly which type of contract you want to offer your temporary worker.
Let’s take a look at some of the different options available.
The zero-hours contract, commonly known as a casual contract, is an agreement in which the employer doesn’t guarantee any working hours. The idea being that work is assigned when it arises and that it can be at short notice in order to provide temp cover. Anyone accepting a zero-hours contract must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage and will be entitled to the basic statutory rights of employment. Those employees on these type of contracts eventually become core temps.
The duration of a fixed-term worker’s employment has an agreed start and end date. The employee such as a contractor, and employer, must agree this. Fixed-term contract workers can’t be treated less favourably than their permanent counterparts and employers have to ensure they have the same benefits as permanent workers.
Having a long-term contract does have its employee advantages. Employers must provide a list of reasons for not renewing the contract of a fixed-term worker that has completed a year of employment. If they have completed two years’ then the reason must be demonstrated. Four years’ or more then that fixed-term worker becomes permanent.
Like contractors, freelancers tend to be self-employed which makes them responsible for their own tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs). Freelancers are brought in for an interim period and have specific areas of expertise. They may not be entitled to the same ‘minimum wage’ employee rights but the employer is responsible for their general health and safety.
The hiring process
Now that you’ve decided on the type of worker and contract conditions you want, it’s time to post the job. Be clear about what you need done, specify the deadline and deliverables. Create your shortlist and have the key questions ready, speak to temps directly and take a closer look. By training the hiring managers on the selling the projects that the temp workers would be assigned, the company will take great strides in having a wider pool to choose from. You want the best temps to be almost knocking down the door to work for you.
You don’t want to go through the recruitment process only for the fixed-term, zero-hour, or freelance worker to then change their mind and refuse the contract. Once you’ve picked your ideal candidate and they’ve accepted the job offer, it’s time to move onto the next stage. Integration.
Integrate your temporary workers
Explain to existing staff
When integrating the temporary workers, don’t ignore your existing staff. Clearly explain the reason why your business needs the interim support so that they understand the benefits and in theory, support the decision.
Provide an induction
When the temporary workers begin, have an on-boarding program in place that clearly allows them to understand the culture of the workplace and make them feel valued. By this we mean, make them feel part of the team. Show the temporary workers the break areas and emergency exits. Make sure that they have the tools to do the job, software and hardware equipment, and that they can gain free access to and from the building. Don’t put them in a corner away from the rest. Make sure that they feel as if they can have a say in the day-to-day working processes.
Once the fixed-term, zero-hour, or freelance worker has started employment, be sure to keep them in the loop with regular updates. Get the most from their strengths. For example, contractors are normally hired for their specialised skillsets so there should be little need to micro manage them, so leaving the employer more time to focus on other important areas.
An organised working pattern for your temporary workers will reap benefits for your business long-term. They can provide skilled cover during staff shortages as the result of illness, or a sudden departure, and also cover maternity leave. Skilled temporary workers can enable your business to maintain high productivity levels during upturns in demand and allows you to evaluate workers without committing to any long-term employment plan.
"Page Personnel is amongst the best recruiters I have had the pleasure of working with." Lifeways Community Care hired through us in August 2017.
"Page Personnel have an established network of experienced candidates who we are in regular contact with." Audit Yorkshire, who hired through us from April – May and October – November, during increases in demand on their resources.
“We were very pleased with our experience of working with Page Personnel." Vik from the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, who hired temporary staff through us in August 2017.
If you would like to discuss your temporary worker needs then get in touch with one of our consultants today to discuss your requirements.