Temps are not cheap labour, they are a valuable resource. Manage them effectively and you will maximise their value to your business.

“When you hire a temp worker, you expect something special. They need to be over qualified, so they can hit the ground running,” explains Olivier Dufour, Executive Director of Page Personnel Belgium.  “To make sure they can do their job well, you need to give them sometimes the freedom to make their own decisions.”

Tips for managing temps

Of course, it’s important that you employ a proactive agency to help you ascertain exactly what your requirements are prior to engaging a temp. In order to make best use of them, it’s worth bearing the following tips in mind.

1. Preparation

Before your temp arrives, allocate the necessary resources they will need to do the job effectively, for example; desk, computer with passwords and office stationery.

2. Clarity and trust

Give the temp clear, achievable goals; make it clear to whom they are reporting and what to do if they have a query. “For some manager it´s sometimes difficult to give temps the autonomy to organise their own tasks,” says Olivier Dufour. “But if as long as you are transparent about your expectations and targets, you should trust that people will do their jobs. They will feel more engaged when they feel they are in control.”

3. Teamwork

Let your team know what is going on and get their goodwill. They will probably have useful suggestions on how the temp can be best utilised.

4. Respect

Treat your temp exactly as you like to be treated. They may have experience and insights that could benefit your business if you give them the opportunity to contribute.

5. Induction

On the temp’s first day you should brief them properly and provide a basic induction (office culture, toilets, dress code and so on), which includes an introduction to the rest of the team.

6. Training

Time spent training temps need not be wasted; it can make them more efficient.

7. Communication

Get feedback from the person managing the temp to see if they are shaping up. Also, speak directly with the temp to see if they have any issues that may be hampering their ability to do the job.

8. Feedback

If the temp is unsuitable go back to the agency and explain why. If they can’t help you go to an agency that can.

From temp to perm

If you find that one of your temps is performing particularly well and wish to offer them a permanent role let them know as soon as possible. If you don’t, you may well find that they have obtained a permanent position elsewhere. You should also raise the issue with the agency with whom you are dealing as soon as you realise you want the person to go permanent.

If you are actually looking for a temp to go permanent from the very beginning it is worthwhile letting the agency know in advance. They can offer advice and help you organise mini-appraisals for the temp during the initial trial period.

For more advice, visit our employer centre.


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