If you are looking for a good temp worker, there are few skills you should look out for to make sure they hit the ground running.

A good temporary worker does not necessarily need to have the same skills sets as a permanent employee.

“On the contrary, there are skills you would look for in a temp, that are not as important when you hire for a permanent position,” explains Olivier Dufour, Senior Executive Director of Page Personnel Belgium.

The most important skills you look for in a good temp are so called “transferable skills. Those are skills that can be used in a variety of roles and positions and are not necessarily skills that are technical in nature. Examples of important transferable skills that are the ability to work well under pressure and second-to-none time management skills. 

These are the most important skills you should look for in a temp candidate:

1.    Flexible mindset 

Temp employees need to be able to quickly adjust to new situations. “Not everyone has the personality structure to do so,” says Olivier Dufour. “In a permanent position that doesn´t have to be a problem, because employees have the time to get to know the company and to understand what is expected of them. Temps don´t have that time. They need to able to hit the ground running.”

2.    Good social skills

A temp of often hired as a temporary replacement of a permanent position in the team. Where a permanent employee has the time to get to know the team, a temp worker needs to be able to connect with his team members as within a matter of days. “Sure, it´s important that a temporary IT specialist or an accountant has the basic technical skills,” says Olivier Dufour. “However, technical skills are not enough, if they are not able to quickly integrate in the team.”

3.    Ability to ask the right questions

Good temps don´t ask questions because they need help with their tasks, they ask questions to get a clear understanding of what their manager or colleagues want to achieve. As they are new in the team, they have a fresh perspective. In the best-case scenario, the questions they ask and the points they raise will help the team to perform their tasks better.

4.    Proactive

As a manager you hire a temporary worker to get results, or at least to keep the productivity of your team at the same level during the leave of a permanent employee. That´s why it´s important that a temp employee doesn´t wait until a task his assigned to him or her, but actively offer their help to the team members.

5.    Resilience

Temps are often hired in peak periods, when at times the stress levels in the team can be high. They need to be able to deal with difficult situations. “People with an optimistic and pragmatic mindset will perform better in those kinds of circumstances, than those who don´t have those personality traits,” according to Olivier Dufour.

All that being said, even the most resilient, social and proactive temp worker will need some guidance to get started. Sometimes employers don´t take the time to train their temp workers, because it´s viewed as a loss of time and resources. However, if you want a temp to deliver, a good training or information sessions will always pay off in the end.

Are you looking for talented temp professionals? Contact our team of specialist recruiters here

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