Passing Out Perks? Don’t Forget the Temps!

In real estate, people say that one of the keys to buying or selling a home is “location, location, location.” In staffing, a similar mantra describes one of the keys to successful staffing: “retention, retention, retention.”

Obviously, you want employees who are competent, trustworthy, and professional. After all, you don’t want to send unqualified staff to your clients. So much business success and growth depend on reputation—and you definitely want to be known as a source of quality placements.

You want to have a reputation for reliability, too. A client who takes the time to train someone for a position, for example, wants that person to stick around for a while in order to maximize the time and effort that went into that placement. At the same time, you want your qualified employees to stay with your staffing firm as well. You’ve put time and effort into finding, hiring, and sometimes even training them. So you, too, want to maximize your investment in those hires.

So how do you get contingent employees to stick around?

Salary is one factor that quickly comes to mind, and it’s certainly an important consideration. Support from management and opportunities for development and advancement are two other criteria that many employees evaluate when deciding whether to stay with an organization (whether it’s a staffing firm or a client company). These elements are so key that pretty much every company (at least, the successful ones) has versions of them.  

But it’s the “little things” that often tip the balance of opinion—and this is certainly true in employment matters. Sure, everyone’s happy to get a paycheck. When people’s conversations turn to what they like about their jobs, though, they often point to the perks they get. These are the sorts of things that can make or break an employee’s experience. And as I’ve written before, don’t underestimate the value of employee happiness!

Some of your clients probably offer perks to their permanent, full-time employees. But do they offer them to their temps, too? If they don’t, encourage them to do so. And if they have no perks at all in place, offer a few suggestions for perks they can implement easily and at a fairly low cost to try them out. They don’t need to offer Google-caliber perks, of course. But offering something useful to and desired by employees shows them that they’re valued by the company. Once they see how much perks can influence employee satisfaction and retention, your clients will be glad for your advice.

Possible perks to consider include:

  • free coffee

  • dry-cleaning pickup and drop off at the office

  • a break room

  • free snacks

  • free (or heavily discounted) meals

  • subscriptions to magazines or Netflix

  • free (or heavily discounted) company products

Perks don’t have to be complicated; sometimes, the simplest ones (free coffee, for example) can have a huge effect. Best of all, they don’t have to break the bank for the organization. By providing low-cost perks to its employees, a company can enjoy a great ROI as increased employee satisfaction leads to increased retention (and better performance, too).

If you and your clients want to keep temporary employees from seeking greener pastures elsewhere, make sure that they’re happy where they are!


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