Apr 20th 2021

In talks with Hibob: How to manage and onboard temp workers

Did you know that the single most important aspect of retaining your best talent is a great onboarding experience from day one? According to a report, nearly half of new hires resign within the first four months without a proper onboarding strategy. Temp workers act as a powerhouse for your company. They help to lessen large workloads, keep up with your business needs and fill gaps in your hiring plan. But companies often forget to onboard temp workers effectively, resulting in decreased employee engagement and unproductive work.

How do you onboard temp workers effectively? We spoke to Alyx Gilham, People and Culture Partner at Hibob, the people management platform for company culture and employee engagement, for top tips on how to approach this. 

“Successful onboarding should enable the employee to begin work on the first day as well as communications that educate the new hire about the company’s culture and create a sense of transparency and camaraderie.”

5 ways to onboard temp workers 

1. Provide proper training 

The reason you are hiring temporary workers is to add immediate value, so there’s no point just leaving them in the dark while you provide training for full-time employees only. Try to match their experience and skillsets with certain responsibilities and give them the tools they need for maximum success. A great way to help them learn is by having them shadow someone. 

This way, if they prove themselves on the job with their specific skills, there is always the option to make them permanent. The power of temp-to-perm hiring means it is far less time-consuming, and a more cost-effective way of finding the right person for the job. In fact, temp-to-perm hires on the Tempo platform are 20% more likely to make it past probation than permanent employees. 

2. Make them feel welcome

A new joiner is always going to be apprehensive, especially true if you come in as a temporary employee, and therefore don’t feel like a permanent part of the business. By making them feel welcome, you help increase employee engagement and create a positive workplace culture right from the start. 

“Introducing employees to a range of people from across the company during onboarding, the process will have the added benefit of fostering a deeper connection between the various teams for ongoing company-wide collaboration and cooperation.”

Here a few ways you can do this: 

  • Make sure to introduce them to other members of the team
  • Give them at least two people they can go to if they need support 
  • Encourage contact with permanent employees through team meetings, inviting them to team lunches and including them in office activities
  • Check-in regularly with a brief 5-minute meeting with each temp every day

3. Have an immediate start date 

When interviewing temps, companies should move quickly and effectively, with a reduced number of stages. Temp workers are often available to start right away and if you delay the start date by a week or two, they will likely have moved on to another opportunity as they need income. Make sure they meet the immediate qualifications and are a cultural fit, and then if they prove right for the job, bring them on board for the temp placement without delay.  

4. Immerse them in your culture 

“Getting off on the right foot with culture-focused onboarding is not only about discussing values and missions, but it is also an opportunity for setting clear expectations, fostering engagement, and opening lines of communication – from the start.”

Whether they are there for one week or six months, creating an inclusive workplace culture is vital for productive work and a great employee experience. It is also the perfect opportunity to see if they are a cultural fit and therefore potentially take them on as permanent position contract. Here are some tips for doing this: 

  • Emphasise values such as diversity and inclusion, punctuality and agility 
  • Get the buy-in of managers and other team members to make sure they are involved
  • Put in place a unified onboarding team that ensures new hires get a full picture of how culture informs operations and processes 
  • Introduce new hires to a range of people across the business to give them a more complete understanding of organisational structure and culture 

5. Provide a detailed employee handbook 

This is one of the most simple, yet effective ways to onboard an employee, especially a temporary one that needs to learn about your company fast. You should have a handbook for all of the roles that you would look to hire temps for. 

The handbook should describe the key deliverables of the role and how to perform them as well as your company’s policies. Be sure to provide all the necessary details your temporary staff will need to excel in their role, as this could make a big difference in whether the temp worker gets the job done to a high standard. 

A new role can be daunting for any new joiner, let alone a temp worker who may feel less included in the company culture. But a well-planned strategy to onboard temp workers will streamline the process and create a work environment where the temporary employee feels engaged. And an engaged employee is a productive one. Plus, you never know – they might just be the perfect next permanent hire for your company.