Should I “Try Before I Buy” and Hire a Temp?

Aug 31 2015

If you’ve got a difficult position to fill, or maybe your budget only permits for a little bit of short-term assistance, then you might be considering bringing a temp on board. The temp business can be a rough one to be in and there are pros and cons to both sides. Here are a few of points to consider when you’re trying to decide if you should “try before you buy” and hire a temp:

You get what you pay for
Great employees with specialized skills are almost always working. If you find a career professional willing to take a temporary assignment beware of things like unexplained gaps in work history, resumes that show a different job every year, and responsibilities that seem vague or illogical. Exercise caution regarding the quality of experienced people you’ll find in the temp circle. However, depending on the skill level of the role you’re looking to fill temporary employees can be a great way to find entry level candidates. Starting out as a temp is a great way to get your foot in the door at a company. Hiring a temp for a role like an administrative assistant or an entry level account manager is an excellent way to try out recent graduates to see if they have the work ethic you’re looking for in a long term employee.

People aren’t products
Don’t look at hiring like you would shopping for a new mattress—where you want to test out several before you commit. Thinking of your temporary employee as a “tester” isn’t a great approach to take (even if it’s true). Instead, try to think of think of it as a probationary period during which you’ll get to know each others work and personality while determining if it’s a good long-term fit…If you intend to make a permanent offer of employment to your temp if they do a great job, let them know this up front. This will create a more loyal alliance between you and make your temporary employee feel like they have a goal to work toward.

Follow the “Golden Rule” and treat others as you’d like to be treated
Make an effort to treat your temporary employees the same as you would the rest of your permanent staff. Creating an obvious separation between temporary workers and full time staff is a fast way to brew disloyalty. If you treat them like they’re disposable, they won’t put in any extra effort—especially if you’ve made it clear that there’s no chance for a permanent job for them at the end. If you treat your temps with respect and kindness. It will pay off.

If you’re smart in your approach to hiring temporary employees, it can pay off—big time! Seek out candidates looking to gain entry level experience, or a person who wants to make a career change and needs a way in to a new industry. If you hire a temp for the right job, it can save you money and help ensure you add quality people to your team.

Happy Hiring!


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