Open the Lines of Communication With Your Contingents

It’s all about the environment. Conventional wisdom has many companies maintaining a rigid corporate structure featuring strict hierarchies and detailed job descriptions that direct staff to focus solely on their defined job functions. In this type of corporate structure, contingent workers would likely be segregated from the general employee population. And that’s where some companies are missing the mark.

When contingents are allowed to interact with peers – employees – in different business units as well as with the executive team and make suggestions for improvements to other operating areas, the results will surprise you. At Billtrust, thanks to our open culture, we have benefitted from the wisdom of these workers.

We treat all employees – contingents and full-time staff alike – as equals. We have a Yammer user group to which contingent employees have full access, and they frequently make valuable contributions. We also include contingent employees in company activities like group meetings and fun events such as company barbeques and ice cream socials.

This innovative idea has changed the way we do business and improve our customers’ experience. We have a rigorous process in place to evaluate prospective employees and temporary workers, but every step in the process is designed to reveal an answer to one question: Are you with us?

To ensure we find a cultural and professional fit for temporary positions and permanent roles, applicants first go through an initial screening process. Our HR group administers a personnel test, and then the hiring manager screens for specific job skills. Applicants meet with a cross-functional group at Billtrust so we can gauge the likelihood that they’ll fit into the company’s unique culture. Finally, we convene to discuss our experience and review what we’ve learned about the applicant. It’s a lengthy process, but it’s an important part of how we build the Billtrust culture. We want employees to be excited about working at Billtrust, whether they’re full-time staff or contingent workers.

This approach allows us to tap the full potential of our workers. It doesn’t matter if they’re an employee who has been with us since our founding or a contingent staffer working on a special project: All voices are welcome, and all ideas are needed. We expect these workers to question the status quo, offer suggestions if they think an established process can be done more efficiently and work with colleagues at every level, including the executive suite.

At the end of the day, it’s not about the worker’s job title or pay grade – we are looking at those personnel who can make valuable contributions. We provide the environment, and the workers, employee and contingent alike, do the rest.

How do you treat your contingents?

Jeanne O' Connor

Jeanne O' Connor
Jeanne O'Connor is human resource manager at Billtrust, a premier provider of outsourced, cloud-based billing solutions that increase productivity, improve cash flow, and seamlessly migrate to electronic delivery.

Jeanne O' Connor

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