Creating better talent experiences for contingent workers


Debra Timmerman

Vice President, MSP Solutions, Direct Sourcing, Career Transitions and Executive Coaching

When it comes to talent experience, organizations often focus their investment and energy on their permanent workforce. But as contingent workers become more and more important in every industry – a survey from TLNT found that a third of companies plan to increase their contingent workforce in 2021 – we must expand ideas about talent experience to include everyone. Organizations should be asking themselves, “What matters most to contingent workers?” and searching for ways to adapt current experiences to be more inclusive of every part of their workforce.

Let’s explore some of the ways organizations can support the contingent worker experience to improve engagement at every stage of the talent journey.


This part of talent experience is one of the most vital, but it’s also somewhere that trust can break down. Complex and slow onboarding experiences create a negative first impression and could even cause talent to walk away before an assignment has begun. Onboarding should feel seamless and straightforward, offering workers confidence in who you are and how you treat your people. From boosting productivity and retention to creating brand advocates long after an assignment is over, onboarding is something businesses should invest in.  We use the latest talent technology to power smooth onboarding experiences in our programs and solutions.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Creating a culture that supports mental health and wellbeing has always been important, but the past year has made it business critical. As many remote workers battle with Zoom fatigue and onsite workers continue to overcome the challenges and stresses of the global health crisis, organizations have a duty of care that extends to every part of their workforce. Many businesses have increasingly turned to contingent workers to provide flexible support in times of uncertainty, and it’s vital that wellness resources are easily available to all.


How do you share company information with your contingent workers? Your non-perm workforce should always feel part of the conversation and including this workforce in key communications can nurture a sense of belonging and ensure that workers feel valued. By treating all workers as people first rather than defining them by their employment status, organizations can build more meaningful talent experiences for everyone.  

Upskilling and Training

In the past, organizations saw limited value in developing their contingent workforce, citing the potential for them to move on from a role quickly as a reason not to invest. Now, organizations are seeing the potential of growing a highly skilled and motivated workforce who have a significant impact on their business. Gartner research on post-pandemic trends found that 32% of organizations are replacing full-time employees with contingent workers as a cost-saving measure, and contingent roles are often a stepping stone to permanent opportunities within a business. Providing access to self-development and training opportunities can help businesses to nurture highly engaged and capable talent who can help them to reach their goals faster.

Talent experiences don’t just impact the workers you are engaging today. Poor experiences spread quickly online and can reduce access to talent in the future. While positive experiences inside your contingent community can make your business somewhere that the most in-demand workers want to be. We work with organizations across the globe to help them build great contingent talent experiences. If you’d like to talk about your biggest contingent talent challenges or find out more about our solutions, please get in touch.


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