What Are the Characteristics of a Great Temporary Employee?

Subscribe to Email Updates

By Lorna Faires

Topics: Hiring


Text Size

- +

What_Are_the_Characteristics_of_a_Great_Temporary_Employee.jpegLanding a temporary employee is one thing—landing the right temporary employee is quite another. When you’re approaching a busy season, like summer, and your company needs skilled staff at a moment’s notice, you can’t afford bad hires. Lacking enough staff to keep the ball rolling in your daily operations hurts your company’s reputation, production, and profits. Not to mention how much mental and physical stress your current staff are put through. There’s a direct correlation between productivity and morale, so locating talented temporary employees is imperative.

There are many benefits to hiring quality temporary employees, but unless you know what to look out for in a candidate, you’ll be unable to land the talent you need to take advantage of those benefits.

With the above in mind, here are the characteristics of a great temporary employee.

They are Adaptable

If a candidate can answer experiential questions with ease regarding how they adapt to new work environments and tasks, this is a good sign. Adept temporary employees are those that have enough experience and intuition that they can quickly adapt to your company’s operations and accept new challenges unique to your company with finesse.

Consider the reasons you might be hiring a temporary employee. As previously mentioned it could be simply that you are in your busy season and need extra staff to keep productivity high. But you might also be hiring temp staff to help with a special project or event that requires more hands on deck.

So, when you are considering several candidates, look for the distinguishing factor of whether a candidate is open to new work experiences or not.

They Have Previous Experience

If a candidate has little previous work experience in your industry, they are probably not a good fit. Your company, after all, is seeking temp staff because of an urgent and often time-sensitive need. You can’t spare too much time or resources in training temp staff. Candidates who have previous experience are precious time-savers that can be integrated into your workforce straight away.

Don’t confuse looking for experience with looking for certifications, however. There are employees who might not have specific education on paper, but who have great practical experience. Not every job you hire temp staff for will need to have a degree in your field of work, but they should have relevant work experience and enough transferable skills that they can be efficient from the moment you hire them.

At the same time, don’t discount the importance of offering a minimum of required training if there are specific factors about working for your organization that differ from others they’ve previously worked for.

They Are Reliable

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, your candidates should exhibit a willingness to commit themselves to the position you’re hiring them for. If they only appear motivated to just make some extra cash for the season, and don’t feel dedicated to showing up on time or putting in a good effort, then they’re not the right candidate for you. Reliability is what ensures you have the right temporary employee for your business goals. Your productivity will take a nosedive if your temp workers are unmotivated.

The best temp staff will help you solve your company’s staffing problems. No matter the instance for you needing staff, including permanent employees on sick leave or maternal/paternal leave, the temporary employees you hire should be proficient at their job. The cost of business is only going up in recent years, and in order to continue to produce great quality service for your customers, you need great quality staff.


Lorna Faires

I’ve been employed with Liberty Staffing since 2006. As a Director of Regional Service Operations, I use my years of experience in the staffing industry to build strong relationships with new and existing clients, ensuring they are receiving the absolute best service that we can provide to them. I am the go-to person for any issues that may arise and can help to troubleshoot and come up with a variety of custom solutions for any situation. 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.

Find Lorna Faires on: