The best process for recruiting temporary staff

By Robert Half on 16th January 2019

With qualified talent becoming harder to find, flexible recruitment strategies have taken centre stage as the best way to achieve the ambitious growth targets that many UK business leaders have predicted. This year alone it’s expected that 1.6 million UK businesses will have hired temporary or contract staff. Most notably in peak periods like the upcoming winter months, where temporary professionals are needed to support workload so businesses can meet their year-end goals.

To get maximum benefit from a flexible recruitment strategy, business leaders will have to invest speed, care and time into the process. Here are some expert tips on the best process for hiring temporary employees.

1. Identify your recruitment needs for upcoming projects

Flexible recruitment strategies are all about scaling talent up and down as per company requirement. Before you begin the temp hiring process, look at the business objectives for the coming year and identify where your potential talent deficits lie.

Temporary and contract staff are often niche specialist experts, so you have the opportunity to select the specialist support you need for each project you have planned. This approach will save on recruitment costs, reduce team stress levels and the addition of specialist talent will help your existing team to upskill, too.

2. Work with temporary employment agencies

Temporary employment agencies are arguably one of the fastest and most efficient ways to find temporary workers. To help refine the search for the top temporary staffing agencies, employers can look at specialists for the role or sector they’re hiring for, so they get the added bonus of a network of niche talent and specialist expertise. 

It is also a good idea to look at temporary agencies in your local area. They’ll have a much better grasp of local employment trends and remuneration benchmarks, and have access to a network of professionals who are already based in the same area as your business. 

3. Write a temporary job description

Before you start advertising temp jobs, work with your professional temporary recruitment agency to isolate the tasks you need for the project at hand, the must-have skills and experience for the job, and the ‘nice-to-have’ skills. Don’t forget to outline the duration of the project and when the start date should be.

After you’ve fleshed out all the essential details, you can start writing your job description. Aim to be functional, clear and practical when listing your requirements and rely on industry reports like the Robert Half Salary Guide to choose a competitive pay bracket to feature in your temporary job advertisement. 

4. Be decisive and hire as quickly as possible

As with permanent staff hires, time is of the essence. Long hiring times and periods of indecision not only cost the business money in lost revenue and productivity, they can also cost you the first-choice temporary staff professional.

Because temporary professionals work from contract to contract, periods of inactivity equate to lost earnings. They are most likely to accept an offer from a company that engages them first, even if that’s their second-choice employer. Research by Robert Half showed that 58% of candidates have admitted to this. To speed the process up, employers can choose to work with temporary staffing services.

5. Develop a temp staff onboarding process

Recruiting temporary staff is different from recruiting permanent staff in that they need to be able to hit the ground running so they can deliver as much value as possible in the short time they’re working with the company.

When onboarding temporary staff, it’s best to train them as though they were permanent. Without a thorough and comprehensive onboarding process, it’s far harder for a temporary employee to be able to deliver maximum value to an employer, as they may hit an information block which stops work flow. Try to assign a permanent employee in a relevant role for them to shadow, which may help them learn the ropes faster.

Are you considering hiring temp staff or contract staff? Contact the Robert Half team today and let us help you find your right fit.

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