Hiring temp (i.e. temps) can be very beneficial, under the right circumstances. In fact, it can act as a flexible way to cope with staffing requirements without long-term commitments.
However, if you want to benefit in this way, you need the right approach. Not only must you carefully hire the right temps, but you also need to know how to make good use of them.
1. Predict Your Needs in Advance
Although hiring temps can help you to quickly plug a gap in your staffing requirements, it shouldn’t be used just as an emergency measure. Instead, whenever possible, you should identify your recruitment needs in advance, and start looking for temps early.
In part, you can do that by looking at your small business objectives and identifying any talent deficits that need to be overcome. On top of that you can take into account vacations, and potential paternity or maternity leave, and decide whether you need to hire temps as cover.
If you can predict your needs in advance, you’ll have more time to properly recruit temps, vet them, and make sure they are a good fit.
2. Create a Clear Job Description with Precise Requirements
Usually in small business you will be hiring temps to fulfill specific roles and perform specific tasks. However, unlike permanent staff you won’t have the luxury of training them too extensively. That is why it is crucial that you come up with a clear job description that lists out the precise requirements in terms of qualifications and skills. The more extensive the list, the better.
It may help to provide explanations as well, to help clarify the requirements and make sure everyone is on the same page.
3. Vet Temps as if They are Permanent Staff
One of the mistakes that businesses often make when hiring temps is they don’t vet their qualifications as extensively as permanent staff. Needless to say, that can lead to a lot of problems, and your temps may not live up to expectations.
As a rule; you should always vet your temps just as extensively as permanent staff. Check their qualifications and references, and test any skills that are essential. Be sure not to skip any security checks either. If they aren’t vetted carefully you may not spot any shortcomings until it is too late.
4. Decide Quickly and Don’t Delay
When hiring temps you can’t afford to waste any time and should be decisive and act quickly when you find a candidate that is a good fit. Temps work from contract to contract, and most won’t remain unemployed for too long as they’ll be losing money if they do.
If you don’t make a decision quickly and send them an offer, many temps may end up going with the next best option. As a result, you could end up losing out on most of the best temps, and having to go with your second or third string picks.
5. Look for a Good Culture Fit
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that temps don’t need to be a good culture fit. If anything, the culture fit is actually all the more important for temps as they will need to be able to quickly fit in with existing employees and play a role in the organization.
Suffice it to say, you should take steps to check whether or not the temps you hire will be able to work well within the current system, and with the team they’re joining. The best way to screen for that is by making sure you ask the right questions during the interview.
If you take steps to ensure a good culture fit, the temps that you do end up hiring should perform much better.
6. Treat Temps Well
As far as possible you should try to treat temps well, just the way that you would treat permanent staff. They should have access to the same perks, privileges and incentives as permanent staff too. Although temps aren’t going to be around for long, the role that they play is often just as important (or more important) than permanent staff. By treating them well you can encourage them to perform better, which will definitely help.
On top of that, treating temps well will let you establish your reputation as a good employer, and make it easier for you to hire more temps in the future.
7. Listen to What They Say
Want to know how you can make things easier for your temps and help them to perform better? Often the best way to find out is to ask them yourself. Make sure that you have a way that your temps can provide feedback, and try to ask them to do so. If you listen to what they say you may be able to improve your hiring and onboarding processes, or even your organization structure.
8. Consider Permanent Placements or Repeat Hires
If you hire a temp that performs exceptionally well, you should try not to let them escape from your grasp. Instead you should look at ways to keep them around, be it by offering them a permanent placement, or hiring them again in the future. Always remember that good talent is extremely valuable, and the last thing that you want is to lose out by not taking action.
In addition to these tips, it may help to look for professional temp services that you can work with in the long term. The connections and network that professional services have built may make it easier for you to find exceptional talents.
Regardless of which route you pursue, you should be able to use these tips to hire and make use of temps far more effectively. It may even help you to improve on your recruitment processes in general, and enable you to hire far better talent in the long term.