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The gig economy is on the rise – but training a contingent or contractor workforce comes with its own challenges.

Around half (56%) of the employers we spoke to in our recent Learning Insights global survey said their use of suppliers will increase over the next 3-5 years, and 53% predict the same for their use of contractors.

This reflects a marked shift in employment patterns globally, with an influx of 2 billion new workers into the global workforce from the BRIC countries in the past two decades.

Onboarding new employees, training teams and checking compliance can become difficult when you’re dealing with a workforce in flux. So what checks need to be in place? Here are some contingent workforce solutions and tips to improve your management processes.

5 contingent workforce solutions to improve your management processes

1. Check for skills and experience

When working with a contingent workforce of contractors or temporary staff, in many sectors it’s vital to ensure they have the skills and experience to hit the ground running. Building relationships with trusted contractors and establishing a database of individuals with the right skills, qualifications and credentials will avoid the difficult business of finding new ‘fits’ for every individual project. What you are looking for is someone who understands the company values, is certified to work and has a background that is relevant to the work at hand.

2. Get the onboarding process right

Contingent workers might be based off-site and often have a very light-touch relationship with other employees, so getting the onboarding process right is a key first step. You can deliver onboarding through face to face training, online or as a combination of both, ensuring your values are understood, embedded and acted on. Digital learning to deliver this type of training is becoming increasingly popular and can also help reduce costs involved with face to face training.

3. Set clear goals

Essential contingent workforce solutions involve setting clear goals and business objectives. Outline milestones, expectations and deadlines for contractors in advance, with agreed work patterns, pay rates, priority areas and guidelines. Ideally, you should document all this somewhere central to help with reporting and review.

4. Deliver training

Just because this part of your workforce is contingent doesn’t mean they don’t need training – in fact, it could be even more important. Training contingent workers and independent contractors can help you avoid poor worker performance, low productivity and accidents at work.

Things like safety and compliance training are a must for contract workers to ensure that the work is carried out correctly and safely. Workplace hazards are doubly hazardous if the worker is untrained and unfamiliar with the work site. Contingent worker training should be the first thing on every HR and contractor manager’s list when considering hiring a temporary employee.

5. Make them part of the team

Integrate your contingent workforce into your company – make them feel a part of the team and you’ll get a better outcome and a more engaged, productive workforce overall. Temporary or contract workers will often be project based, with the associated chance of them feeling isolated from your other employees. Engage them from the beginning in company updates, cross-organisational working and communications and you’ll find they’re more productive, prepared and ready to hit the ground running.

With the gig economy on the rise and showing no signs of stopping, the challenge for employers is ensuring that temporary workers are integrated into the team, and can get up and running quickly, safely and effectively. For particular industries like construction, healthcare and the energy sector, health and safety and compliance are an even bigger issue. Incorporating these contingent workforce solutions as part of your management services is one way to make this process more efficient.

In addition to this, an online platform like Sitepass is the ideal contingent workforce management solution for training and managing your gig workers. Manage key workforce documentation, compliance and training in one simple platform. And because Sitepass is a SaaS solution, it’s accessible via desktop, mobile or tablet.