Hiring a temporary employee can serve a few purposes.
They can fill the gap when someone is out of the office unexpectedly.
Temporary employees can help a growing business or department who may not have the headcount/budget to bring on a permanent employee, but still have enough work to hire a temp.
Hiring a temporary employee can be a good way to get to know an employee before committing to hiring them into a long-term role. It allows both the employer and the employee a chance to see if the role is a good mutual fit.
Temporary employees can provide an extra set of hands for a set period if you are working on a specific project with a defined end date (even if it is just a few days!).
What you need to know before you hire a temporary employee.
Temporary employees are traditionally either unemployed, in between other temporary jobs, looking to switch industries/career paths, or have a very specific availability for a specific amount of time (i.e.: going to graduate school, looking to supplement a part-time job, or only available for the summer months).
The more skills you are seeking, the more difficult it may be to find multiple candidates to choose from. If you can narrow it down to “must have” skills when seeking a temporary employee, you’ll have a greater chance of finding a good fit.
Temporary employees go off the market FAST! This talent is typically motivated to find work immediately, so if you have expectations for multiple rounds of interviews to hire a temporary employee, you may lose them to competitors who have a quicker process.
They may be seeking permanent employment while temping. If you are hiring someone for a critical role that needs coverage for a defined amount of time, it would be wise to either have a backup plan in case they find employment or to hire someone who has availability that closely aligns with your timeline.
There are also temporary employees who prefer to work in temporary roles so they can try out new industries, take time off with no obligation to an employer, or learn a new skill. This talent may appear to have a “jumpy” resume, but they can still provide high-quality work and be very reliable.
Temporary employees are not your employee, technically, because they are not paid by your company and because they are not eligible for company benefits. They are still supervised by someone at your company, and they are still required to take direction from their supervisor.
You may get more out of your temporary employee if you are able to treat them similarly to internal employees. Invite them on team outings, let them work with autonomy when possible, and provide them with feedback (both constructive and positive).
Before hiring a temporary employee, make sure you have a plan in place so that you can provide them with a timeline for the assignment, hours for the assignment, and any other information that you would share with an internal hire. The more information you provide upfront, the more likely our temporary employee will succeed and help your organization reach their goals.