How to create a great workplace for your temporary staff

Hiring temporary workers is a brilliant way to quickly add extra help to your business during busy times. You can also use temps to cover unexpected leave or bring in specialists you only need for a short amount of time.  

The joy of temps

Another advantage to using temps is that you can trial people to join you on a more permanent basis. Taking them on as temps lets you see how they get on in the job and if their individual skills could benefit your company in the long-term. Considering creating a new role but not sure if it’s viable? Bring in a temp to test it out. 

There are lots of other advantages to adding temps to your team. And it's important to make sure you give your temporary workers the very best experience, no matter how long they’re with you. 

 how to make your temps feel valued

1. Lead by example

Make sure you treat your temps with the same respect you’d give to any new employee. If it’s practical, take some time to speak to them individually, learn their names and help them feel welcome. You could also organise some treats for their first day, or take them out for a team lunch or drinks after work. Small things like this don’t cost much, but can make a real difference. They’ll also set the tone around your department or organisation, meaning others will follow your lead. And this will help boost your organisation’s reputation as a great place to work. 

2. Treat them the same as your permanent staff

It might seem obvious, but you should make sure your temps have access to all the same advantages as your full-time teams do. The same goes for health and safety too. Even if someone isn’t going to be with you for long, they still need to know your fire procedures or data protection rules, for example. If they’re working with unfamiliar equipment or machinery, you should also make sure they get all the same training you’d give to a new permanent member of staff.  

If your temps are going to be with you for a few weeks or months, think about getting them a company email address, and inviting them to team meetings or social events. You might even want to give them the same (or a similar) onboarding experience as you would for a new member of your permanent staff.  

What about creating a buddy scheme that pairs up temps with permanent staff who train them on company procedures? You could even use this as a way to help full-time employees add to their people-management skills. 

3. Use clear communication 

Make sure your temp workers know why you’ve taken them on, and how the work they’re doing will contribute to the company as a whole. This will motivate them to perform at their best and feel part of your team.

It’s a good idea to keep temps updated throughout their assignments too. You could run catch-up sessions with both permanent and temp staff to share company news and success stories – for example, you could talk about the difference your temp workers are making to productivity, or your goals for the project they’re working on. Make sure you also include time at these meetings for people to give feedback and make suggestions. Being transparent about things like this will help all your employees see the difference temps are making to your company. 

You should also make sure you get feedback from your temps, both during and after their assignments. Encourage managers to have regular one-to-ones with temp staff so they can share any worries or ask questions. This will help them feel like valuable members of your teams too. 

4. Mix up their tasks 

This will give them a well-rounded understanding of your company culture and show them you're interested in their personal and professional growth. It could also help you identify people who excel in certain fields (for example, you could discover that someone's brilliant in customer-facing roles.)

You can also offer your temps the chance to learn new skills while they're with you – like training on a particular software, for example. Investing in your short-term workers to give them new skills will encourage them to stay motivated. Of course, one of the big reasons for hiring temp workers is that they need less training than other employees. So you could run streamlined training programmes made especially for temps to save some time.

5. Introduce incentives 

If you’re thinking about creating a permanent position for your temps, tell them. They’ll be more inclined to work hard and show off their skills. The key is to be as transparent as possible.  

You could incentivise your temporary worker with a retention bonus so that they commit to the duration of the assignment, or alternatively a bonus for completing key stages of a project.    

Don’t forget to praise your temps individually when they do a good job, either. A simple ‘thank you’ or ‘well done’ from the boss can go a long way. 

Happy temps will work hard for you

If you only take one thing away from this article, it’s that creating a truly inclusive working environment for everyone could give your business a real boost when it comes to recruiting – and keeping – top-quality talent.  

are you ready to add some temps to your team?

Get in touch with your local Pure office to find out about the temp workers we have available.  

 Ben Farrow profile picture

Written by

Ben Farrow

Ben has over 18 years’ experience in specialist recruitment. He joined Pure in 2011 and has helped us grow and develop the business across Essex. Ben’s responsible for leading senior HR recruitment, using his strong networks and relationships across the region. He’s also part of our leadership team, overseeing business operations across Essex and Suffolk, and taking the lead on HR, learning and development, quality, compliance, IT and infrastructure functions.

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