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How to get the most out of your temp

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

It is important that you employ a proactive agency to help you determine exactly what your requirements are prior to engaging a temp.

In order to make best use of them it is worth bearing the following suggestions in mind.

Suggestions for managing temps

  • 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.
  • Clarity – Give the temp clear, achievable goals: make it clear to whom they are reporting and what to do if they have a question. People need goals and temps are no different in that respect.
  • Teamwork - Let your team know what is going on and get their support. They will probably have useful suggestions on how the temp can be best utilised.
  • Respect – Treat your temp exactly as you would like to be treated. They may have experience and insights that could benefit your business if you give them the opportunity to contribute.
  • 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.
  • Training – Time spent training temps need not be wasted and it can make them more efficient.
  • Communication – Get feedback from the person managing the temp to see if they are performing well. Also, speak directly with the temp to see if they have any issues that may be negatively impacting their ability to do their job.
  • 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 find that they have obtained a permanent position elsewhere. You should also raise the issue with the agency with whom you are dealing with 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.