5 Characteristics of Highly Effective Temp Employees

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By Lorna Faires

Topics: temp employees


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5-Characteristics-of-Highly-Effective-Temp-EmployeesYour temp staffing agency has the experience and resources to recruit and hire the best temp employees. Unfortunately, sometimes some bad apples fall through the cracks or the temps you get just aren’t quite suited for the job at hand. What makes temp employees highly effective are a lot of the same traits that you expect from your permanent workers. But with your full-time employees, you have the time to train them until their potential can be realized. Not so for temps. They are required to hit the ground running from the first day if they’re going to be efficient and meet your needs. So to ensure you get quality temps working for you, here are five characteristics you should look for before you hire them.

1. Experience

Your temp employees don’t necessarily need to have specific education or professional certifications to do the job you require from them. But what they do need is experience if they’re going to be efficient from the very first day. You don’t have the luxury of training your temps thoroughly before they can start working. They need to have the required knowledge and experience needed to get started quickly. They may need a bit of on-the-job training to understand how things work in your facility, but this shouldn’t be a long, drawn-out process that wastes your time and money. When hiring temp employees, make sure they have the experience required for the position you’re looking to fill. This may mean that you need to consider higher pay rates for the temps you require. Minimum wage will not attract seasoned, experienced workers. If you want to pay minimum wage, you will have to spend lots of valuable time training.

2. Punctuality

Temps who can’t be bothered to show up on time for work, or just don’t show up at all, aren’t useful. When you’re hiring temps, it’s usually because you have a time crunch on a specific project or you know your business is going to be busier than usual, so you can’t afford to deal with tardiness and absenteeism. Punctuality is necessary for your entire workflow. You don’t want to lose out on valuable time or production because of unreliable temps. However, temps do have the same rights to emergency days and vacation time as your own employees.

3. Adaptability

Adaptability is vital in the temp world. When temps are constantly being shipped off to different job sites, working with varied employees, and dealing with new people, they need to be quick to adapt if they’re going to make it. A temp who is too stuck in his own ways and refuses to adapt to the way you do things around your facility is only going to rock the boat, make your job more difficult, and create tension. The temp employees who can go with the flow and can quickly understand your work environment and their place in it are ideal candidates.

4. Productivity

Naturally, you’re hiring temp employees for a reason: you have work that needs to get done. And you expect the people you hire to help you get the job done quickly and efficiently. If the temps you hire are lazy, you’re not going to see the results you expected. Even the most experienced, adaptable, and punctual temps won’t be of any use to you if they’re not productive the second they step into your workplace.

5. Motivation

Sometimes, if you’re seeing unproductive temps, motivation might be the problem. Luckily, this is something you can fix. If a temp worker isn’t intrinsically motivated to work efficiently, outside incentives can work. When temps are seeing your permanent employees getting raises and promotions and getting praise for all they do, they can start getting down on themselves. Recognition for hard work and credit being handed when it’s due can also do a lot of good in the department. You should also consider providing wage incentives to temps you have been with you long term, especially if you wish to have them continue working at your facility and being productive.

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Lorna Faires

I have over 15 years of experience in the staffing industry, in a management role. I possess a strong background in recruitment, screening, and connecting candidates with the right employment opportunities. I love all animals, but especially my 3 dogs. Hiking and canoeing are my passions, and getting out into nature and being unplugged is my favourite way to spend my vacations.

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