Did you ever notice when reading reviews of products or services online that there seems to be more negative reviews posted than positive reviews? It’s just human nature that people tend to share negative experiences with more regularity than positive ones. We see this dynamic at work in our industry as workers will tell more people (in this case professional contacts) of a bad experience with an employer than a good one. This is an important observation to make because any firm your organization may have engaged to be the employer of record (EOR) for contingent workers is a de-facto extension of your brand. If candidates have a poor experience with your EOR, it reflects back onto your brand. So how to select an EOR provider that ensures good experiences for your workers?
Process Review | A good place to begin is with a review of a provider’s processes. Look for the quality of user experience provided to contractors by the EOR. Are contractors able to speak with a live representative or are they just required to email or fill out forms online? Can the EOR, at a moment’s notice, confirm where a candidate is in the process and provide an estimated timeframe for completion? An EOR that can provide this kind of progress tracking is preferred.
Examine the EOR’s onboarding process through the eyes of a sample candidate. Ask yourself if all of the paperwork they’re requiring of a candidate is necessary. Is there any opportunity to streamline anything or automate processes? Are they still requiring candidates to sign forms, scan or fax them back? Review the candidate payment process and ask if there are any resources available to candidates to ask questions and resolve payroll issues. If these processes are still manual and inefficient, perhaps consider seeking a provider who has efficient and automated onboarding processes. Build your reputation as an organization that cares how its workers are treated – even contract laborers.
Implement an SLA | Next, establish Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to ensure your EOR is consistent in its interactions with your contingents. SLA elements may contain metrics for such considerations as measurements of the time between when the EOR firm receives the candidate to when the candidate is contacted. Word travels fast if your company asks candidates to wait an unreasonably long time to learn if they’ve been selected. Notification times can vary from a couple of business hours to 1 business day depending on the skill category. For example, for light industrial or production roles, notification needs to happen faster. Whereas a professional or IT contact can take a full business day. Ensure the EOR is reporting on these SLAs in a regular fashion; monthly or in quarterly business reviews.
Another SLA to consider is the length of the average onboarding process. The metric here also may vary based on the onboarding requirements. For example some candidates can start work before their background check is completed where others definitely may not. Additionally, certain background check criteria can cause delays, such as in verifying the educational credentials of candidates went to college abroad or for roles where previous employment is required to be verified. Regardless of the particulars, all these time frames should be defined, codified and measured regularly for consistent application.
To determine the SLA initially, ask the EOR firm to provide reports on their current state processes. When reviewing these “as-is” processes, take the opportunity to create a desired “to-be” state timeline for ensuring all requirements are completed prior to onboarding. Other things to examine include determining if the EOR firm is performing resource management activities regarding these workers. Are they conducting follow-up meetings with workers and hiring managers to solicit feedback on performance and satisfaction? You may even assign KPIs to measure the frequency of follow-ups with contractors. This aids in supporting consistent service over time.
Request Feedback and Listen | Finally, solicit feedback. Ask if the EOR firm surveys the workers regarding their experience on your job sites. If the EOR is not performing such surveys, consider conducting an independent survey of your own to ensure workers are satisfied and getting timely resolution to their concerns and challenges.