Monday, 1 May 2017

Want to hire the right temp, fast? Here are 3 quick steps to creating the ultimate shortlist

If you need an extra set of hands around the office, hiring a temporary staff member could be a great idea.   But how do you make sure you choose a temp who hits the ground running and adds value from day one?

1. Think beyond the job description

Most employers start the hiring process with a job description.  A list of tasks your new staff member will need to perform plays an important part in developing the ‘required skills’ list and helps you to assess their relevant experience.    But although it might be a short term assignment, taking the time to think through how your ideal temp will APPROACH the role rather than just what they’ll DO, will pay dividends with the rest of the team. Too often, employers recruit by experience, rather than competency, particularly with temporary staff. 

2. Make a list of the business attitudes that are important in your workplace

“When it comes to hiring temporary staff, the trick to getting it right from day one is a clear view of soft skills required” says Simon Hall, Manager of Auckland temp matching platform Temp Market. “Everyone has a job description but identifying the right personality and attitude fit is key to placing a temp that delights the team from day one”.  

 For example, if you were hiring a receptionist, the job description might say ‘answer phones’ or ‘manage an xyz switchboard’.  There would be plenty of temps available with that work history (and plenty of competition from other businesses looking for the same skill set).  However, if the competencies required are emotional confidence, an engaging personality or a lively nature, this creates a more narrow field in order to pinpoint the right match for you.  

Typical business attitudes that Temp Market clients search for are:

  •   Professional pride and daily pursuit of excellence;
  • Emotional stability
  • Confidence
  •  Professional presentation
  • Fortitude;
  • Good ability to manage stress in the workplace
  •  Interpersonal Skills:
  • Great communication skills, will they be clear and polite with clients or colleagues?

 “A temporary worker will be part of your team; albeit for a short time; and they’ll add value faster if they are a cultural fit” says Simon.  Considerations for how well a temp will fit into your team include:

  •  How well this person keeps his promise;
  • How fairly he treats his co-workers;
  • How reliable and honest an employee is with co-workers;
  • What degree of individualism vs fit with company ethos a temp shows

Verbal referees have always played an important role in the recruitment process, but when time is of the essence, verified online testimonials from previous employers can give some hint as to a candidate’s soft skills and attitudes.  “We’re lucky that in this digital age, virtual tools such as video interviews and online reviews can really save an employer time if they know what they’ve looking for” says Simon.

3. Of course, technical skills are important. So test them.

“Anyone can say they can do something” says Simon. “Particularly with temporary staff who need to add value from day 1; if a client doesn’t have time to train them, I recommend looking for indicators of competency that support their list of skills and talents”. Examples of indications you should look for include:

  • Qualifications, grade, class etc;
  • Specific professional achievements and rewards;
  •  Knowledge of industry specific business processes & working instructions; ie safety
  • Certifications and recognised standards

With a bit of preparation and the modern tools at your disposal, you’ll be on the way to finding your perfect temporary employee.   Good luck!  

Temp Market is a temporary employee matching platform which provides a 360-degree look at your potential new recruit, including skills tests, ratings from other employers and a bio. For more information, visit our website:

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