5 Traits Employers Look for in Temp Workers

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By Lisa Hutchinson

Topics: temp workers


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5_Traits_Employers_Look_for_in_Temp_Workers.jpgThe job market is tough in North America and full-time jobs are scarce. If you’ve been having trouble getting hired for full-time employment, you might consider taking on some temporary work assignments to pay your bills. With the rise of the contingent worker in today’s workforce, there are plenty of temp jobs to go around. More and more companies now want to hire temps.

Plus, temp work has myriad advantages that you can benefit from. It can help ensure that you don’t have a big employment gap on your resume. It can give you the opportunity to network and gain a wide variety of skills and experience. And it can help you get your foot in the door.

Although taking on temp work has its benefits, it’s also not for everyone.

If you want to see if you have what it takes to be a temporary worker, consider these top traits that employers look for in their temp workers.

1. The Ability to Be a Self-Starter

Temporary workers are often brought on to jobs suddenly because employees have called in sick or because there’s an influx in demand. This means that you need to be able to hit the ground running on your very first day. There won’t be much time for training and no one will hold your hand, so you need to be a self-starter. You need to be able to work independently, figure things out for yourself, and learn how to do the job fast. You have to be a quick study.

2. The Ability to Adapt Quickly

Every temporary assignment you’ll go on will be different so you’re going to need to adapt quickly to new workplaces, new surroundings, new programs, new equipment, new coworkers, and new managers. Temp workers must be able to easily jump from one assigned job to another with ease.

3. Continued Productivity

When you’re taking on a lot of different temporary jobs, it can be difficult to stay enthused and productive. You know that you’ll be leaving in a short while, so you might not want to get excited, you might have trouble staying motivated, and you might not try your hardest. But the best temp workers know that they must give their all to every temp job they take on, even if they’ll only be there for a short while. They don’t give half efforts because an assignment is short lived. They remain productive and motivated.

4. Punctuality and Reliability

Punctuality and reliability go hand in hand. Punctuality is critical when it comes to temporary assignments. You’re likely being requested because there’s a time crunch on a project and the company needs more workers in order to get all of the work done in time, efficiently and effectively. If you’re showing up late to every job, you’re not going to be very useful. Employers need to be able to rely on you—they don’t have the time to deal with absenteeism and tardiness. And they need to be able to depend on you to finish the entire assignment to the end—not quit halfway through.

However, it’s important to know that you still do have the same rights to vacation time and emergency days as full-time employees do.

5. Communication Skills

Finally, temp workers need to have excellent communication skills. You need to be able to communicate clearly with your agency by providing updates on availability, work progress, and concerns with the job. You also need to be able to communicate with your temporary employers and new coworkers. You need to be able to speak up if you need help, require additional assistance, or have concerns with safety.

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Lisa Hutchinson

I started with Liberty Staffing in 2004 as the Regional Business Manager of the London office. I have over 20 years of experience in the customer service and retail sectors, as well as leadership experience including Store Management, People Development and Recruiting. In 2016, our London location moved to a larger office in order to accommodate growth of our business, which included adding a Clerical Division.

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