Strategically using marketing staffing and similar marketing contingent workforce solutions can be an excellent way to wring more value from your marketing budget. But if you’re new to the concept of professional staffing and aren’t sure how to properly leverage this talent resource, it can end up costing you more than it helps. Before you commit to staffing or bring in your first contractors, it’s important to clear up any confusion and avoid rookie mistakes.
Whether you’re working in a business that’s just trying out marketing staffing for the first time, or it’s your own first time working with marketing contractors in a company that has used them before, there are some key things you need to know to get the most value from them.
You’re Not the Employer–So Don’t Act Like One!
A key part of what makes marketing staffing attractive is that you’re bringing in extra execution capacity and expertise without adding to full-time headcount. However, many businesses make the mistake of treating their contract staffing professionals the same as their employees. That’s a mistake that not only can hurt your productivity but also get you in legal trouble.
It’s important to understand your relationship with the contractors you bring in. You can manage and direct them; but you must remember that the marketing staffing firm you’ve partnered with is the actual employer. As such, you should let us handle matters of compensation, discipline, contract terms and the like.
Discussing these matters with your marketing staffing can ruffle your partnership with your staffing agency. It also puts your business at risk of co-employment issues; if you start acting like an employer, then you are an employer (at least as far as the IRS is concerned). If you take on employer status, then you also take on employer obligations: taxes, benefits, and compensation. That quickly gets very expensive for you and your firm .
Know Exactly What the Purpose Your Staffing is Filling
When things are hectic and your marketing is struggling to meet its goals, staffing is often seen as a “call in the cavalry” tactic to provide support when it’s badly needed. That makes sense, but it also means planning out contracts is often done in a haphazard manner. It’s very important that you understand why you’re bringing these professionals in. You want to know the problem they’re being used to solve–not bringing them in as a solution and then scrambling to make up a problem. Even if your marketing is in a state of chaos, don’t bring in contractors just for the sake of “doing something”.
A clear goal and purpose has many benefits when it comes to marketing contingent workforce solutions.
- You’ll be able to develop better job descriptions with your marketing staffing agency, which means you’ll get a better talent fit for your need.
- An interesting and coherent mission can pique the interest of high-caliber marketers who might overlook generic challenges or disorganized businesses.
- You don’t want to risk dramatically changing the scope of work your staffing is doing from what was originally outlined in their contract. This can constitute a breach of contract and sever the agreement or result in a change of payment terms.
Your Genius Contractors Still Need Support and Guidance
It’s true that your relationship with your staffing professionals is different from your full-time staff. But when it comes to things like orientation, onboarding, support and integration you should run them through a very similar process to the one you put your new hires through.
Many businesses understandably bring in expert marketing contractors because they won’t need much training and will be able to start delivering results quickly. But though they won’t need much catching up in terms of marketing skills, they still need to understand what makes your workplace and team dynamics tick. Explain basic things very early on, like the office layout, break policies, safety procedures, etc. Introduce them to the internal team they’ll be working most closely with. After all, you don’t want them wasting precious time wandering around in search of highlighters or a restroom!
Contractors’ Impact on Your Workplace
Though they aren’t full-time employees, your marketing staffing can still impact core aspects of your workplace atmosphere and culture. After all, they’re still people who will be spending a significant amount of time right alongside your team. A contractor that meshes well with your marketing and gets along with your team members will contribute positively to your workplace, while someone who just doesn’t click can be a detriment to morale and productivity.
That’s why it’s important to take culture fit into account when selecting your marketing staffing professionals. You want to maintain a strong employer brand where full-time employees and contractors alike are excited to work, and that can’t happen if there’s tension and abrasion in the workplace.