Top 5 Mistakes Employers Make When Hiring Temporary Workers

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Temporary workers can be a great asset to any business. But when the hiring process is wrong, the decision to recruit temps could backfire, causing great monetary and other losses to the company from which it can be hard to recover. For example, the price of a bad hire may include:

  • Resources (time, money etc.) invested in the hiring process
  • Resources spent in training and onboarding
  • Payments made to the temping agency
  • Negative impact on the morale and productivity of other employees
  • Risk of damage to brand reputation, leakage of confidential information, threatening the company with false charges etc.

Apart from flawed hiring practices, poor compliance is another reason why companies may find themselves in hot water. There is also the scope for other errors and oversights such as lack of clarity in communicating job expectations, training deficit etc. which could either harm or greatly diminish the effectiveness of a temporary hire.

Here are five common errors and omissions that employers tend to make while recruiting temporary workers. Read on so that you can identify the signs and take early corrective action.

1. Not vetting temps thoroughly

Yes, temporary employees are pre-screened and pre-vetted. But that does not absolve you of the responsibility of assessing them yourself through the use of established screening protocols such as interviews and background checks. After all, remember that it is you that is most susceptible to harm and damage should the employee turn out to be a bad apple. Hence it is in your interest to fully satisfy yourself apropos the conduct and suitability of the candidate prior to signing them on.

Apart from interviews and background checks, you may also consider:

  • Maintaining copies of their government IDs
  • Maintaining copies of their professional licences, certifications etc.
  • Running a social media check

It may also help to maintain all employee records and employee communication to bolster your case in the event of legal or compliance issues arising in the future.

2. Ignoring the interview process

Another common mistake involves hiring candidates based strictly on the resume, while ignoring the interview process. It is risky because it exposes managers to only one facet of the individual—their professional competence—while ignoring another, equally important aspect of the candidate—their personality. This translates into enhanced risk of hiring the wrong personality type for the job. As seasoned managers will tell you, sometimes it makes sense to choose the right personality type over the most qualified candidate when you are trying to build an effective team.

3. Not communicating job expectations clearly

In their eagerness to get contingent employees to start work ASAP, businesses often fail to communicate an important detail—their job expectations. This information is critical to workers because without it, they will be directionless. Job expectations comprise several discrete elements including specific inputs regarding the nature of the work, the timeframe for completion, information regarding the quality of work, accountability standards etc.

If you are hiring a temporary worker to fill in for a staffer who is on leave, or meet tight project deadlines, or cater to any type of employee shortfall, start with communicating precise information regarding what is expected from them. Clarity regarding job expectations is a key determinant of success vis-à-vis a temporary hiring endeavour.

4. Providing little or no training

Even though temporary employees are equipped with the necessary skills, training is necessary to familiarise them with your systems and processes. Training also introduces them to your company culture, helping them adapt quickly to the new work environment.

There is no need to organise a full-scale training session for your temporary workforce. Instead, you may break up the training programme into silos and get the employees to attend the relevant segments.

Conducting training programmes becomes especially important when hiring for roles where there are safety issues at stake. Unfortunately, temps are largely ignored when it comes to safety training and equipment, making them prone to higher levels of workplace injury compared to permanent employees. Proper training can be an important deterrent to rising workplace injury rates among contingent workers and assist in the creation of a safe work environment.

5. Not getting them to sign NDAs

The nature of temporary jobs is such that employees end up working with many different companies. Hence, the risk of confidential information leaking out, either intentionally or unintentionally, is also high. If you are hiring a temp for a position that requires the handling of sensitive information, it is a good idea to make them sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). You may also ask them to sign non-compete and non-solicitation agreements if it is deemed necessary to the business. Speak with your lawyer regarding the drafting of these agreements keeping in mind local UAE laws.

Fostering Inclusiveness

Despite their utility, temps are frequently meted step-motherly treatment in many companies. Treating them well is key to driving engagement and enhancing productivity. One of the most effective means of boosting their morale involves dealing with temps as you would with your permanent employees, within the limits set by the law. Enhancing the self-esteem of temps through fair and generous treatment is the best way to improve their performance and boost your ROI.

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