What are temporary employees?

Temporary employees are people a company hires for a limited period of time or to complete a particular project. Companies can hire temporary employees directly or through a temp agency.

While temp employees aren’t eligible for health-care benefits, paid time off, or retirement funds, they can qualify for unemployment. Their eligibility depends on various components, such as the length of their previous employment, their previous salary, and the reason for unemployment.

Why should HR leaders care about hiring temporary employees?

Hiring temporary employees enables companies to maintain a thriving workforce. Depending on the industry, HR leaders may need temp employees for different reasons, such as: 

  • Beefing up the staff during peak seasons 
  • Replacing a permanent team member on maternity leave or disability leave
  • Carrying out a time-consuming or skill-specific project

Temporary employees also contribute to greater agility–permanent employees can take extended time off when necessary, and the business can maintain productivity.

Moreover, temporary employment is like a dating period, during which the employer and employee can become acquainted without commitment. If the company is satisfied with the temp employee’s work performance, it might extend an offer for permanent employment.

What can HR leaders do to manage temporary employees successfully?

To effectively incorporate temporary employees, HR leaders can integrate these tips:

  • Get back to basics. Temp employees need the appropriate hard and soft skills to hit the ground running. When sourcing temp employees, keep an eye out for experienced, confident, resourceful individuals with good communication skills. Also, ensure that you know the current job requirements and that the job description is accurate. 
  • Outline the job parameters. Have temp employees sign a contract that explains the length of employment, the salary, and the protocol for time off–if the temp employment is long-term. Explain the agreement to new hires to support compliance and a smooth employment period. 
  • Appoint a professional to manage unemployment claims.  Know which team members manage unemployment claims. Moreover, if your company hired a temp agency, determine if just the temp agency is managing the claims or if your company is also responsible for the claims.
  • Include a confidentiality agreement. Temp employees may not feel loyal to the company, so it’s crucial to have them sign a confidentiality agreement to protect sensitive company information. 
  • Do your background checks. Collaborate with the legal team to run a transparent and legal background check that’s appropriate for the position and the industry. Create a background check policy to ensure that candidates have a clear record, won’t disclose confidential information, or endanger their co-workers with dangerous behavior. 

Why should integrating temporary employees be a part of modern HR strategy?

Strategically hiring temp employees can keep the business running smoothly. Whether you’re short on staff because of workload fluctuations or team members being on extended leave, temp employees allow you to manage people’s workloads, support employee wellbeing, and preserve a healthy company culture.