Skip to main content

In today’s business world, the temporary workforce is growing at a rapid pace. According to the American Staffing Annual Analysis, “In a 2011 McKinsey Global Institute U.S. Jobs Survey of 2,000 employers of all sizes and in all sectors, 34% said they expect their companies will use more temporary and contract workers over the next five years.”

Temporary employees can be a great resource to your company, so if your business is one of the 34% you should probably consider how to properly manage these new employees. Consider the following 5 tips as you begin to hire temp workers for your growing or seasonal business.

1. Have the Necessary Paperwork

Every new employee is placed into your HR system for reporting and data purposes. However, temp employees may not need to be added, simply to be removed in three months. Still, you want to be sure you’re using the right paperwork. This paperwork will depend upon the industry you’re in — for example, agricultural workers have different paperwork than someone doing clerical work in an office. Check for a complete list.

2. Get Current Staff on Board

Even though you’re working in a professional environment, some permanent employees may not take well to having temp workers in-house. However, with everyone on board the process of integrating temp workers into the office can be very successful for the business.

  • Proper training: You may not need to do the full onboard process for a temporary employee, but be sure they know enough about the company that they feel comfortable coming into the office and being a part of that culture.
  • Important contacts: It’s important that your temp worker knows who they are working with and who they should be reporting to/contacting with issues.

3. Create Clear Goals

Temp workers are at your business for one specific reason — whether that be to fill the spot of a temporarily absent permanent worker, complete a special project, or simply because you need some extra hands on board. Because of this, you want to be clear in the goals of the position from the start.

  • Job description: In the job description, be clear about what you want. You don’t want to hire a temp employee you need to fully train for one project.
  • Future potential: Many businesses take this opportunity to give new employees a trial period. Be clear in the interview about whether there is permanent potential or not. This could be a make or break for the candidate.

4. Remember They Are Temporary

While you should always treat your temp workers the same as current permanent staff, you want to remember they are in fact temporary.

  • Keep them on task with what they are there to do, don’t overload them with extra work.
  • Don’t give away too much information about the business; if having internal meetings, be sure to excuse them.

5. Know the Legal Details

When enrolling a new, full-time employee, you give them the run through about insurance, 401k, etc. However, temp employees may not get those benefits right off the bat. However, depending on your industry, some insurance coverage may be necessary. Be sure to consult your lawyer about workers compensation and liability insurance to get smart about potential legal issues.

In a slowly recovering economy, temp workers are of high value to businesses. However, it’s important that you know how to manage them properly to stay legally compliant and within your long-term business goals. When you properly manage your temp workers, you can be sure to get the most business value.

Re-posted from PayScale.

Jessica Sanders is an avid small business writer. As the marketing copyeditor of, she touches on a range of topics such as Gen Y hiring.