What is the best start day for temporary staff members?

By Robert Half 13th June 2018

Long hiring times and extensive on-boarding processes are costing Britain’s businesses the best talent. The longer it takes to get a candidate into an active role, the more chance you stand of losing them. When the UK skills shortage is gripping hold and hiring times are not keeping pace, it makes sense to put new staff temporary members straight to work. But old hiring habits can sometimes die hard.

Temporary staff members are an excellent solution to the war for talent—they can help you temporarily fill vacant roles and can provide added resource for large projects or time-consuming jobs. Their specialist knowledge can also be used to fill skills gaps in your teams, so your permanent employees learn more.

If you’ve chosen to work with a temporary employee but find yourself debating which start day to give, you may want to read on and find out why it’s better to be fast off the mark.  

The damage long hiring times can cause

Stipulating a Monday start day can feel something of a tradition for businesses. The reality is that candidates are working to a much faster timeline. A poll of 1,000 jobseekers revealed that 44% felt there was poor communication from employers regarding the required steps in the recruitment process. Further to this, 39% felt that delayed decision-making was a big frustration. They want to transition quickly from interview stage and into a new roles, but find their pace mismatched by sluggish company hiring processes.

It’s not only employees who stand to suffer from hiring delays—businesses can, too! Digitalisation has accelerated the global marketplace, prompting businesses to get quicker at reacting to change. Without sufficient human resource to deploy projects or business initiatives, falling behind becomes all too easy.

Waiting for Monday to roll around leaves your temporary staff member secured but not utilised for several days. Both parties stand to lose time and funds through the delay. If they’re free to make an immediate start, get them into the office tomorrow.

Read more about streamlining your hiring times

Timing your onboarding process and start day

Now that your offer has been accepted, you’ll need to take your temporary employee through an onboarding process before they can start work. If you’re willing to be flexible with your onboarding days, you could both get several extra days of work completed.

Related: Hiring responsibilities continue once the contract is signed

Offer accepted on a Monday/Tuesday
If you’ve completed the hiring process on a Monday or Tuesday, there’s no reason you can’t get started immediately. Ask your new temporary employee back tomorrow for fast, immediate onboarding, ready to work the rest of the week through. 

Offer accepted on a Wednesday/Thursday
If you’ve hit mid-week before the job offer is accepted, you may find it more efficient to ask your temporary staff member back the following day to complete the onboarding process before the weekend, ready to start properly on Monday.

Offer accepted on a Friday
Just because it’s the end of the week, doesn’t mean you should put things off until Monday. Why not pull your onboarding material together in a file which can be read out-of-hours? Your new temporary employee can take some time during the evening or over the weekend to familiarise themselves with company hierarchy, IT logins, policy and procedures before they start on Monday. If they have any questions, they can be addressed when the new week starts!

Looking to hire temporary employees? Contact our expert temp team today and let us help you find the perfect fit quickly. Alternatively, you can submit your vacancy here.

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