Hiring a temporary worker Featured

7:00pm EDT February 24, 2008

In the 1990s, strong economic growth out-paced the rate of growth in the nation. That prompted an increase in demand for recruiting/staffing firms that supply direct-hire recruitment to their clients and temporary help services to fill short- or long-term positions during peak seasons, absences, vacations and medical leaves. For nearly 15 years, there has been an increasing demand for such temporary help services. According to the American Staffing Association, at least 90 percent of companies in the U.S. use some form of temporary staffing. The demand for temporary help persists because staffing services have proved invaluable in helping businesses cut costs while still maintaining a functional employee base.

Smart Business spoke with Cindy Biter of Delta Dallas to learn more about how temporary staffing firms can send employers the candidates they need and prepare those candidates to function successfully with employers, and how employers and recruiting firms can work together to satisfy current staffing needs.

How do temporary staffing firms benefit companies?

In a constantly fluctuating economy, temporary help services can provide qualified workers on short notice and on an as-needed basis by matching an employer’s work-flow needs to economic ups and downs. Temporary help services can offer a variety of short- and long-term savings for businesses and organizations. These could include: controlling recruitment costs, saving on benefits and taxes, and even managing long-term personnel costs. It is important for an employer to partner with a recruiting firm that can aid in the evaluation and streamlining of present recruitment processes and costs.

What are the primary criteria when selecting a recruiting firm to fill temporary positions?

Let’s face it, companies look to partner with recruiting services that have their best interest at heart. The primary concern when searching for a recruiting firm is to ensure its screening process will bring you the best temporary help available. It is important to make sure that firms are screening candidates thoroughly. Each firm has its own procedural policies for sourcing candidates, and you should deal only with firms that have thorough criteria for both their recruiters and the candidates that are sent to you.

1. Is your recruiter certified in temporary staffing? (Certified Temporary Specialist) 2. How does the firm ensure the temporary candidates sent to you have the skills you need? (How does the firm test candidate skill sets?) 3. Does the firm guarantee the quality of its temporary employees? (Does it monetarily stand by its screening process?)

What criteria do staffing firms look for when selecting well-qualified temporary employees to present to companies?

Reputable staffing firms will adhere to a strict set of tangible and intangible attributes in their hiring criteria. Other than the obvious assets, such as punctuality, a skill set compatible with the job requirements and a professional appearance, there are a number of intangible items the staffing agency looks for when selecting temporary employees. Clients often report that it is, in fact, the intangibles that count when it comes to temporary employees. For employers, temporary employees who demonstrate positive attitudes and have a strong work ethic set themselves apart from ordinary workers who are simply looking to the short-term payday at the end of the week.

How important is a temporary employee’s attitude in the hiring process?

Quite possibly, the No. 1 attribute of a good temporary employee is attitude. A good attitude will carry a candidate through the toughest situations and potentially to a full-time opportunity. Even if the employee doesn’t like an assignment, optimism and a proactive attitude will help him or her stand out from the crowd. Every temporary assignment is an opportunity for an employee to learn new skills. Even if employees are not ultimately offered a full-time position, they can still walk away with expertise that will help them in the future.

Do temporary employees gain anything from their assignments?

Sure. Staffing firm personnel encourage candidates to see the networking opportunity in every temporary assignment. They may not be offered a full-time job with an employer that temporarily utilizes their talents, but good news travels fast. If temporary employees perform well for a company, their supervisors will give positive feedback to the staffing agency.

Should temporary employees maintain contact after their jobs are completed?

Temporary employees should stay connected with their staffing firm and specifically their staffing professional throughout their job search. If temporary employees stay connected to their recruiter, it is an indication of communication skills, diligence and professionalism. All of these are qualities a recruiter will feel confident presenting to its clients.

CINDY BITER is vice president of business development with Delta Dallas. Reach her at (972) 788-2300 or cbiter@deltadallas.com.