When you make a big business investment into a resource that’s available for a limited time, it’s important to start getting value from it as quickly as possible. That’s true for equipment, partnerships, tools and perhaps most importantly, talent.
Interim marketing talent comes in many forms. Flexible workforce solutions for marketing abound, from digital marketing consultants to contractors, staffing, freelancers, interim marketing executives and beyond. High-quality talent used strategically in this manner can deliver tremendous ROI and dramatically improve your business’s flexibility. But it doesn’t come cheap. The sooner you get your new interim marketers onboarded, the more value you’ll get from them during their limited time assisting your business.
Unleash Your Inner Mad Scientist: Creative Ways to Use Interim Marketing Talent
We routinely see companies of all shapes and sizes do a poor job of effectively onboarding marketing contractors and integrating them into the workplace culture. Some organizations (almost 20%, according to the Society for Human Resource Management) don’t have much of a formal onboarding process at all. And those that do don’t always have effective systems set up or fail to apply them to temporary staff.
The good news is that you don’t have to go to great lengths to integrate good interim talent. If you’ve found them through a reliable staffing agency or recruiter, then your provisional marketers should be fairly adaptive and self-sufficient. It only takes a modest amount of preparation to get a big payout.
You are just as responsible for the safety of your flexible marketing staff as you are for your full-time employees.
Fortunately, most office environments aren’t immediately hazardous. Still, there are some things everyone needs to know; like what to do in the event of a fire or other emergency.
Your business should also have a procedure for if someone feels harassed or threatened in any way–make sure you share your policies with your interim marketing staff.
Some workplaces may require additional safety training. For example, if your office is undergoing renovations or construction, you need to inform your contractors and consultants of how to stay out of harm’s way. Similar considerations need to be made if your workplace is near a manufacturing or assembly facility, or an area that has a lot of active heavy machinery.
Get a Workspace and Equipment Set Up
If you want your new media contractors or digital marketing consultants to step in right away and start being productive, you need to give them the right tools and access to jump right in. Do as much of this as possible ahead of time so your new marketer can spend less time wrestling with technical issues and navigating internal bureaucracy and more time using the talent your hired them more.
In most organizations, that means at minimum a designated workspace with a functional computer and a phone already set up. Depending on your business, there may be other necessities like security clearance, an email account, or corporate cell phones that need to be provided.
Coordinate with the relevant parties in IT and HR to prearrange any accounts, permissions and passwords they’ll need to access digital tools and resources.
Additionally, make sure your timesheet system is ready so your contractor can easily and accurately track hours right away.
Most staff, whether full-time employees or interim marketing contractors, work best in an environment and culture where they feel welcome and ‘part of the team.’ They’ll work harder, communicate better, and have fewer problems with their peers. That’s especially important in marketing teams, where collaboration is critical for sustained success.
But let’s face it; some workplaces can become close-knit or even cliquey. That makes it hard for newcomers–especially temporary ones–to earn a place in your team.
Shortly after your transient talent joins the team, try to create opportunities for them to interact and socialize with their immediate coworkers on both a professional and personal level.
The Little Things
Businesses often get too distracted with big-picture onboarding to remember the little things that matter to human beings throughout the day.
Can YOU imagine having an effective workday without being able to find a bathroom, or knowing where to go for a fresh cup of coffee? Even a problem as simple as running out of staples clips can escalate far more than necessary when you don’t know where to go or who to turn to for a solution.
Don’t take the basic knowledge you use about your workplace every day for granted.
Cultivate Your Brand
The people who work for you, both full time and on a temporary basis, are ambassadors for your consumer and employer brands. When they have positive or negative experiences they will share them—through networks, online review sites, and word of mouth.
If you intend to bring in the best marketers (and why wouldn’t you), it’s vital to preserve a strong and positive company brand.
Related: Watch the Video: How to Make an Employment Brand Irresistible to Top Marketers
Word travels fast in this industry—if you develop a reputation of treating your contract marketers poorly or fail to provide the environment they need to be effective, you’ll find it increasingly difficult to attract the quality talent you need in the future.
Once you have a few black marks on your record, you’ll find them incredibly difficult to erase. On the other hand, a brand as a supportive and competent source of quality contract jobs will have the best marketers fighting for opportunities to work with your organization.