What is a temporary employee?
Depending on factors within the economy or specific needs of your company, those in charge of hiring may decide to take on temporary employees, also called “temps.” Temporary employees are contracted workers that perform a job for only a short period. They can be hired directly by an organization or work for a staffing company that sends them out on temporary jobs.
Although a shortened time frame of employment defines temporary positions, many companies will use temporary employment as a trial position in which employees can be offered full-time employment after the defined temp period has been completed. This process benefits both the company and prospective employee as it allows the employee to learn more about the business before total commitment and gives the company insight into whether the temp employee would be a good fit.
How are temporary workers different from seasonal workers?
Both seasonal and temporary employees can support a company during busy times; however, there are critical differences between the two forms of employment.
As defined above, companies take on temporary employees to fill gaps in a business’s workforce or even to cover absent employees. Temp workers can be full-time or part-time and may be offered benefits similar to those of other employees at the company. They may be hired during peak seasons, for another employee’s leave of absence, or for other needs expressed by the company.
Seasonal workers are hired temporarily when a company needs extra assistance during a particular period, such as for holidays or industry-specific busy periods. This form of employment is prevalent among retail, sales, and shipping companies. These employees are generally part-time, which keeps payroll at a minimum and often includes irregular hours depending on the company’s needs.
Benefits of hiring temporary employees
Hiring temporary employees can help during busy periods experienced by the company, fill gaps in the number of needed employees, or provide additional skill sets for a new project or service. Five of the benefits of hiring temps are outlined below.
- Flexibility based on the economy: For small to medium-sized businesses, adapting to fluctuating customer demand is necessary for responding to the ebbs and flows of seasonal and inevitable economic changes. Temporary employees also help support businesses in sudden turnover, leave of absence, and new offerings from the company.
- Provides access to new skills: Temp employees are not exclusive to any specific level of employment, as they can operate at any level of the business, including secretaries, accountants, financial officers, nurses, lawyers, information technology professionals, and more. This displays the prospective impact that temp employees can bring, being that they can operate anywhere in a company. Temps can bring new skills and perspectives to their role, streamlining production and improving efficiency for the company.
- Saves the company money: Logistically, hiring temp employees differs from business to business; however, the process is generally more cost-effective than hiring a permanent employee right away. Temps often work hourly positions (as opposed to salaried positions), further reducing the cost of their employment.
- Lead to permanent positions: Temp-to-hire: Making meaningful hiring decisions is at the forefront of a hiring manager’s mind. Finding an employee who is the right fit for the company and its culture can be daunting. Still, by taking on temp employees, managers have time to evaluate workers before committing to a permanent position at the company. This is referred to as a temp-to-hire position and can also reduce the sense of urgency associated with filling an open position with a full-time hire immediately.
- Boost employee morale: Adding temp employees can help boost the overall morale of a company’s workforce as it alleviates extra roles, responsibilities, and long hours by being distributed across more employees. Overworked employees can experience stress, exhaustion, and burnout that are detrimental to productivity, especially during busy times.
When to hire temporary employees
Now that there is an understanding of what temp employees are and the benefits they provide when hired at a company, it is essential to recognize when to add temp employees to your team. Below are three indications that hiring on temps may benefit your company.
- Your company needs specialized experience: It has become a standard practice among many industries for employers to hire temp employees for their skills and technical training to best meet customers' changing needs.
- Lengthy onboarding is too costly for your company: Temp employees can jump straight into the role needed at the organization, primarily when they were sourced by a recruitment agency that scouted them based on skills and experience related to the position.
- You want to grow your team in the future: As mentioned above, there is a high possibility that hiring temp employees can lead to temp-to-hire arrangements should the company grow to need more full-time employees. Because temp employees will have already displayed their skills related to the company’s needs, the decision on whether to hire them full-time becomes a streamlined process.
How to hire temporary employees
After evaluating your company's staffing needs, you may find that hiring temp employees is the most strategic and beneficial decision for your business. Below are several steps to successfully recruit and hire a temp employee.
Evaluate the needs of your company
When considering hiring a new employee, an essential initial step is determining what role needs to be filled. Creating a detailed outline of what position your company is seeking, including the duration of employment, responsibilities, and training for the job, should be carefully considered.
Attract ideal candidates
To attract the candidates best suited to meet the need of the position, create a thorough job description that includes the job title, information on the company (including company mission, values, and a description of the employee culture), responsibilities for the position, and required qualifications to find the best candidate to fill the position.
Select a recruiting method
Many companies do not have the need or resources to operate an internal hiring and recruitment department, and these activities are often imposed on managers or others within the company, detracting from their daily operations. For this reason, working with a recruitment agency, such as J2T’s Flex division, allows companies to work with the veteran recruiters that make up our team, who are tireless in their pursuit to find creative solutions to clients’ temp staffing needs.
Reviewing the candidates proposed to you by a third-party recruitment agency is key to forming a list of candidates who match your company’s needs. You can conduct interviews and begin the screening process for hiring new temp employees. Helpful questions to get a better idea of how a candidate may fit within your company include:
- What is your preferred work environment?
- What are you seeking to learn through this opportunity?
- What was the team like in your last position?
- What interests you about this position?
- What is your biggest strength/weakness?
- It is also important to conduct background searches, even on employees that are not expected to be full-time at the company. Many third-party recruitment agencies provide services to assist through this process.
Make a successful hiring decision
Once you have followed the process to hire a new temp employee and are ready to make a job offer, reiterating key aspects, such as job title, hours, compensation, and start date are essential. At this time, the company should also present any contractor agreements, employment eligibility forms, non-disclosure agreements, or any other pertinent documents that should be presented and filled out by the new employee.
Benefits of hiring temporary employees in finance and accounting
The accounting and finance departments experience ebbs and flows of the workload they experience annually. Implementing new systems, changing a budget cycle, or the tax and audit season, in general, can all create undue stress on your organization's accounting and finance departments. Hiring temp employees to combat these issues can have the following benefits:
- Bringing in greater skills: Temps are screened to meet certain requirements specific to your organization’s needs. Bringing on a new employee who has experience in the area you are seeking and is equipped with the necessary skills to help accomplish tasks at hand is a huge benefit of bringing on temp employees.
- Takes away excess work: People, the most critical resource of any company, have a limited number of hours they work daily. With the year-end duties managed by accounting and finance professionals only growing, teams need to increase productivity and output to accomplish their responsibilities. Hiring temp employees adds extra workforce and hands on deck to achieve these industries' ever-growing list of tasks.
- Flexibility: With changing demands becoming more common, you may ask that your permanent employees focus on the day-to-day operations of your business and that temp employees be hired to tackle a specific project. Using temps as a resource to oversee new tasks and take on responsibilities allows others on the team to focus on their requirements.