Permanent employees aren’t always necessary.
Sometimes, you only need short-term professionals to take on a certain role for the project you’re working on.
Even though there are differences between a permanent and temporary worker, each comes with its own set of benefits and flaws. Startup companies and smaller businesses may benefit more from the latter for several reasons.
This guide will walk you through what those reasons are, including a 7-step process on how to hire a temporary employee.
What is a temporary employee?
Hiring a temporary employee means employing a professional for a specific period of time.
These are usually short-term positions where candidates are given a non-permanent job offer for a certain duration or until the completion of a project.
However, even when fixed-term contracts are given, the initial temporary job offers could be renewed to retain the professional. Or, they could even be offered a permanent role within the organization.
To put it another way, it’s not too different from hiring a self-employed contractor or freelancer as you’re working with them for a limited amount of time.
For startups and smaller businesses, it’s a cost-effective approach for immediately closing the skills gaps in your team and reinforcing the workflow. It’s especially helpful when you’re in a bootstrapped position with a minimal budget, which is what makes it difficult to invest in permanent roles.
In some cases, permanent hires aren’t necessary in the first place. But, the skills are necessary for the current time being or the project you’re working on, e.g. your next product launch campaign.
The pros of hiring a temporary employee
When recruiting for a temporary role, you’ll often come across job seekers who have immediate availability to work. Therefore, you typically won’t have to wait a few more days or weeks before you can get started.
A cost-effective solution
Compared to hiring an employee for a permanent full-time position, you’re only employing them temporarily. As a result, you won’t have to cover all the usual costs associated with a new employee, e.g. annual salaries.
Or when working with a qualified freelancer or agency, they’ll have their own resources available. So, you won’t have to manage further software expenses.
The long-term factor isn’t heavily taken into account. This is because the professional is only being hired on a non-permanent basis, which shortens the recruitment timeline. In other words, you’re predominantly selecting individuals based on the technical expertise required for the role.
The market demand for industries changes over the course of the year. It’s not uncommon for it to arise more than expected.
For instance, seasonal events. In this case, it’s beneficial to have a talent pool for temporary job positions on standby so that it’s ready to be filled without delay as soon as you notice the demand rising. Hence, making the recruitment process flexible for hiring managers.
The cons of hiring a temporary employee
Even though you’re closing the skills gap in your current workforce, it’s only for a limited amount of time. Unless it’s only necessary because of a certain season or project you’re working on, you’re not fully solving the root problem at hand.
There’s a risk of compromising the cultural fit since the main priority is to hire those who are qualified to take on the job responsibilities. Meaning that the candidate’s mindset and personality aren’t as focused on compared to their skills and experience.
Time spent on training
Despite hiring candidates that are capable of the role, they’ll need to undergo a level of training to understand the company workflow. So, it still takes time to get them up to speed with how you operate, e.g. becoming proficient with the software tools you use.
How to hire a temporary employee in 7 steps
Now that we’ve got the context out of the way, we’ll go through the 7-step process you can use as a startup or small business to fill a temporary job vacancy.
1. Understand your purpose for hiring a temporary employee
There are different reasons why an organization may recruit for a temporary job vacancy such as:
- Replacing an existing team member who’s on leave
- Managing the workload due to fluctuating demand
- Completing a short-term project
- Reducing the employment costs
That being said, weigh the value of recruiting a temporary employee for the job position you’re considering.
Is it going to be helpful for your team? How is it going to contribute to the growth of your business? Are you experimenting to see what difference that job role would make before making a long-term commitment?
This is important because you may realize that there could be other alternative solutions better suited to your needs. For instance, hiring an agency or freelancer to outsource your marketing.
2. Determine how you’re going to promote the Job vacancy
Once you’ve confirmed the need for a temporary worker, the next step is to determine how you’re going to reach the right job seekers.
A few examples of strategies to attract the top talent include:
- Optimizing the careers page on your website
- Writing an enticing job description
- Using social media to promote work opportunities
- Creating content to showcase the company culture
As you go along, it’s crucial to optimize your candidate sourcing strategies to ensure you’re maximizing your reach to both active and passive job seekers. Otherwise, there may not be enough applicants to narrow down the list and make an objective analysis of who’s the best fit.
Another option is to find qualified professionals by using online platforms and marketplaces such as:
3. Filter candidates based on skills
Before scheduling an interview with applicants, you’ll want to make sure you’re spending time and progressing with those who are qualified.
To put it simply, review each application and see if they match the job description. This is where an applicant tracking system (ATS) can be valuable as it allows you to automate and streamline the entire process, which saves time.
Alternatively, use a pre-employment screening platform to reinforce your decision-making regarding a candidate’s expertise.
4. Schedule an interview with candidates
This is the time to minimize one of the cons of hiring a temporary employee. Let’s use the cultural fit obstacle as an example.
When you’re interviewing your candidates, ask them questions about how they would work as a team or react in different situations. Their answers will give insight into their approach and situational judgment ability, which can then be taken into account as you make a hiring decision.
5. Don’t delay your job offers
According to a report by Glassdoor, 17% of job offers in the United States are rejected by candidates. One of the reasons why is because they have options, so they’re more choosy.
Once you’ve found your ideal worker, don’t delay in sending a job offer.
While there are other factors involved, a delayed recruiting process affects the candidate experience negatively. It’s one reason for applicants to drop out or accept another job offer from a different company they’ve applied to.
6. Get candidates up to speed
After they’ve accepted your offer, update them with your workflow processes.
This helps them perform to a good standard and ensure the work is being completed the right way by following the company policies. Providing a good onboarding experience also has an impact on the company’s reputation.
7. Consider permanent positions
How did the temporary employee do? Were they significant to your workforce and did they make a difference?
Moving forward, ask yourself how valuable they would be as a long-term employee. If the results of their work are positive alongside their attitude, it’s worth considering giving them an opportunity for a permanent position.
Although you hire a temporary employee to fill an immediate need, they’re strategic for boosting productivity and minimizing recruitment costs.
However, the main factor to evaluate is the skills of each candidate.
Look into each individual’s professional background but don’t just evaluate them based on their resume. Assess their job performance to get an accurate insight into how they apply what they know to solve a problem.
That’s what makes Testlify valuable for recruiters and hiring managers. On top of that, they’re an affordable recruiting solution for building a thriving workplace.