Bringing on a Temporary Worker – 5 Steps to Success
By Catherine Lang-Cline
As the economy develops and business picks up, many companies are choosing to add staff through temporary workers. It’s a way to manage the workflow with less risk than bringing on permanent employees that might not be needed in the long-term. But if you’ve never used temporary staffers before, figuring out how to make the best use of them can be a little daunting. Here are five tips to make sure your staffing investment will pay dividends for your business.
- Really know what it is that you need - Are you looking for someone to work 40 hours or just part-time? Do you need an idea person or a doer? Does this person need to have a skill that no one else on your team has? Also, think about the rate range you would like to stay within. The more specific you can be about your exact needs, the better a staffing firm can identify the best person to meet those needs. In order to know the placement was a success, you first must decide what success is going to look like.
- Have a job description - An actual job description would be ideal. But if you don’t have one, think in terms of what the temp is going to need to know to do the job. Is expertise in certain software programs a necessity? Does the person need experience in specific types of projects to be able to perform? If the temporary is filling in for someone who is out, how will they get access to the details of what that person does so that they won’t need to interrupt you? Writing this type of information down can really help the staffer do a good job, not to mention help the staffing firm make a perfect match in the first place.
- Communicate – Imagine it’s your first day on the job and you’ve never worked at this company before. For the temporary staffers you hire, this will be true. Don’t be afraid to state the obvious. Start by being clear with the staffing agency about when you would like the person to arrive and what is considered professional attire for your company. On the job attire varies widely by industry these days, so if it matters to you, spell out exactly what will and won’t work. When the person arrives, be very clear on what you would like accomplished and what your expectations are as far as deadlines. Tell them who to talk to if they have questions, show them where all the tools they need are located. Stop back throughout the day to check in and see how things are going. Even the most proficient temporary staffer is not a mind-reader, so don’t make the mistake of assuming they’re going to know details that your experienced team members know.
- Have a space ready – You would be surprised at how many companies bring on temporary staff without bothering to create a functional workspace before they arrive. Don’t waste time and money by having your new workers sit around as you set up a desk and computer. Get them to work ASAP. Also, make sure your entire team is aware of their arrival and can help if needed.
- Feedback - The person who has come to help you is not familiar with your environment so communicate quickly if things are getting off track. Look for a staffer who can receive your input and adapt to produce the kind of work you need with the right attitude and energy. Feedback is a crucial step in producing good results. When someone is doing a good job, it’s important to let them know so they’ll keep it up. Conversely, if things are just not working out, inform the staffing firm immediately so that they can find a swift replacement. That way, you won’t miss a beat in productivity.
Knowing what you want is the key to and getting what you need. Being prepared is the best way to get the most for your time and money.