How to Reduce the Risk of Hiring Contract Workers

Renewable energy projects often require staff beyond the typical construction team on site. Some of the roles project managers look for include health, safety and environment (HSE), logistics managers, QA/QC, and civil, electrical, and mechanical supervisors. To find those individuals, firms turn to third-party staffing agencies. Partnering with a third-party construction staffing agency has many benefits, including:

  • Access to networks of skilled and niche talent
  • The ability to quickly staff short- and long-term projects
  • Savings on time that would have been spent on hiring and training
  • Workers that are fully enabled with requisite equipment to hit the ground running

However, like any business partnership, working with a third party can leave you vulnerable to risk. For companies working with a construction staffing agency, those risks can include:

1. Co-employment
Co-employment occurs when two entities—often the client and the staffing agency—share employment responsibility over the same employee(s). For example, the client might handle health and safety on a construction site, but the staffing agency will handle payroll. When hiring construction workers and other talent for renewable energy projects, it’s important that a clear separation between the agency and the end client is established and maintained. Co-employment issues often arise when one of the entities fails to fulfill its legal obligations to the worker. For example, if the worker feels that working conditions are unsafe and health and safety was the client’s responsibility, the worker could potentially file a complaint.

2. Misclassification of workers
As contract and temporary work has grown in popularity, so have misclassification cases. Misclassification often occurs when a worker is misclassified as an independent contractor when the worker should have been treated as a W2 employee. Because misclassification can result in large fines and lawsuits, construction firms should look for staffing agencies with processes put in place that ensure the employees put forward are classified correctly.

3. Exempt vs. Non-Exempt
Non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay and their employer—the staffing agency—is required to keep track of and pay for all hours worked. Employers are responsible for ensuring that all employees receive the rights and protections afforded to them in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.

These risks can be mitigated by only working with a compliant construction staffing agency. Progressive understands these risks. Its approach is specifically designed to provide the best possible team, fully enabled for the job, with the lowest possible risk.

It all starts with transparency. When partnering with a construction staffing agency, clients should make sure that they are given visibility into the staffing firm’s policies and processes. Maintaining a high level of transparency contributes to stronger partnerships and limits staffing challenges.

How Progressive’s transparency mitigates risks

No matter what staffing firm a construction company chooses, it should select one that prioritizes transparency. Progressive makes transparent communication a cornerstone of its relationships, from disclosing the screening and interview process to contracts and employment agreements. For each project, Progressive also employs substantive measures to mitigate risk, including:

1. Employee performance evaluations
Early termination of a contract employee is an outcome that all parties want to avoid. A client might seek early termination if the employee lacks the required skills to perform essential duties or if there are cultural fit issues. In most cases, these issues can be resolved. We make it a point to have check-in calls with both our contractors and our clients to gain feedback, and to learn what is going well and what isn’t. Our aim is to deliver win-win outcomes to ultimately avoid disruptions to your construction project.

2. Employee training and continued education
As a benefit of being a Progressive employee, we offer a myriad of training and continued education opportunities. In between assignments, our employees can continue upskilling and take courses to stay current on important industry certifications. This is just one of our many service offerings that work to fully enable the talent put forward so that they can hit the ground running on day one of your construction project.

3. Employee Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) support
At Progressive, we take health and safety extremely seriously. As part of our employment solutions, we have a dedicated HSE Support to ensure that our contractors and clients are always supported. Our support includes, but is not limited to:

  • Incident Reporting
  • Training & Certification Management
  • Supplementary Employee HSE Training
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • 24/7 NurseLine
  • Employee Assistance Program

4. Resolution Help Desk
We are committed to ensuring a positive and rewarding employment experience for all. Our resolution help desk is here to support our employees every step of the way. They are available to answer questions about the following:

  • Payroll – timesheets or expenses, W-4 or state tax elections, direct deposit, and other questions related to payroll
  • Benefits – eligibility, enrollment, participation, and general benefits information
  • Leaves of Absence – questions or requests related to sick leave, family medical leave, active military leave, or disability leave
  • Health, Safety and Environment – reports of incident or safety concerns, requests for PPE or general HSE policy questions or clarification

 


 

Looking to staff a large-scale renewable energy project?

Mitigate the risks of hiring construction workers for your next project by only partnering with a staffing agency that maintains stringent compliance.

Contact us today to learn more about our construction staffing solutions, or download our Expert Guide to Renewable Energy Staffing.

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