Temporary workers are an increasingly prevalent element of America’s workforce. Businesses hire them to replace permanent staff members who are absent or on leave, to fulfill special short-term projects, or to act as extra hands during peak times.
According to Aerotek.com, “A recent Harvard Business Review report found that 58% of companies say they will use temporary workers at every level of their company in the next few years.” If you’re part of that 58%, be sure that you know how to manage them on paper, in the office, and on the job.
Hiring temp workers is a bit of a different process than a full-time staff member. While you’ll still want to perform your routine process, from background checks and reference calls, there is one very important element with temp workers: transparency.
Generally, businesses hire temporary workers to fulfill a specific purpose or role, so be sure that you are clear with candidates about what the goals of the position are. Hold them to the job description, but don’t overburden them with extra work that may distract them from their current project.
Transparency is key no matter what kind of worker you’re hiring, but the often uncertain nature of temp work means you should be extra careful to lay out to candidates exactly what to expect. If the position has future potential, let them know.
If the position is definitely temporary, the job candidate needs to know that up front so that they can make an informed decision about whether to take the job.
Temporary workers differ from your permanent staff in several key ways that depend on your industry and whether they were hired directly by your business or through a staffing agency. Be sure that you have all the necessary paperwork for reporting and data purposes; know your industry’s rules for hiring temporary workers in order to avoid extra paperwork and other burdens.
In the Office
Temporary workers may not receive the same benefits as your permanent employees. Check with your lawyer to determine whether you are responsible for paying workers’ compensation, liability insurance, contributing to 401ks, or other coverage on behalf of your temps.
Rules regarding hiring and insurance responsibility vary by industry, so check USCIS.gov to determine what your legal obligations are towards your temporary workers.
The way that you treat temporary workers should not differ from how you treat permanent staff. Be sure that your permanent employees are aware of the ways that temps help your business, and get everyone involved with helping your new temps integrate into the office culture.
In a 2011 survey by the McKinsey Global Institute, 34% of employers expected to sure more temporary and contract workers over the next five years. If you plan on being part of that 34%, expect that you’ll need to properly manage your temp workers on paper, in the office, and in the interview.
Your temps may not be required to complete the full new-hire training you give your permanent staff, especially if they’ve been hired for a single, specific project. However, they should still receive enough training to become familiar with and comfortable in your office culture. They should also know who they should report to and who to contact in case of problems.
Temporary workers need to know enough about your business to be able to do the job they were hired for. You can excuse them from internal meetings or anything that may give away too much information about the inner workings of your business.
Megan Webb-Morgan is a web content writer for ResourceNation.com. She writes about small businesses, focusing on topics such as business sales. Follow Resource Nation on Google+, Facebook and Twitter, too!
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