8 Tactics for Retaining Your Temporary Workforce During a Staffing Supplier Transition

Nervous WomenImagine this scenario: Your leadership team is unhappy with your current staffing provider, but is hesitant to change due to fears that your operations could be disrupted and your customers adversely impacted if things go poorly. Ultimately, you make a change to your staffing solution.

That’s where I come in. As a New Business Development (NBD) Director, I frequently sit across the table from some very nervous client representatives, who look to me and our implementation team to deliver a seamless transition and improve performance. There is always a little anxiety the day we arrive at a client’s site. When transitioning from the sales process to operations, when the rubber must meet the road so to speak, we must deliver on the promises made and the expectations agreed to during the sales process. I am a change manager; I must not only design an implementation plan to achieve our client’s goals, but I must execute that plan with no disruption to our client’s operations.

One of the biggest causes for concern during a staffing supplier transition is temporary workforce continuity. At the end of the day, the staffing business is about people – a temporary workforce that performs mission-critical activities for your operations each day. Without your temporary workforce in place, your transition is dead in the water.

Here are a few simple but effective tactics for conducting a successful staffing supplier transition:

  1. Ensure your new supplier is aware of and following the American Staffing Association (ASA) guidelines for a fair and ethical incumbent staffing associate transition.
  2. Have your new staffing supplier provide you a copy of the letter of agreement that they will execute with the outgoing supplier outlining the rules of engagement.
  3. Remain involved to ensure that everyone is working together as a team to ensure your success.
  4. Be sure your incoming staffing supplier conducts an information session with the current temporary associates within 48 hours of arrival. This will stop rumors before they start. Early communication is key to success – once your new supplier gets in front of your workforce they can answer questions and allay fears. Key members of your leadership team, along with a representative from your outgoing supplier, should be present to show a united front.
  5. Share information with key stakeholder groups on how the transition will take place and how it is progressing. This will enable them to support a successful transition and dispel fears and rumors.
  6. Have your end-users identify temporary associates who should be released due to poor performance instead of transitioning to your new supplier. Making this change during the transition period can help operations run more smoothly going forward.
  7. Support the incoming supplier’s need to conduct associate information sessions as quickly as possible.
  8. Schedule daily briefings with your staffing supplier’s implementation team to stay abreast of their progress transitioning the incumbent workforce as well as their recruiting status to fill projected vacancies on the transition date.

Following these tactics will help ensure that you accomplish your mission and may even cause you and your leadership team to ask yourselves: Why didn’t we make the change sooner?

How do you achieve workforce continuity during a transition?