Evaluating the qualities of your temp staff can be somewhat difficult. They typically hold different roles within your company, which can make an “apples to apples” comparison impossible. They don’t have the same long-term relationship with your business, so you have to evaluate them quickly, based on their individual merits. Since you usually don’t have the same amount of time to get to know them, you need a few quick criteria to measure their abilities. Here are three easy measures to use to evaluate your temp staff, and the temp staffing agency that provides them.
1. Have They Learned the Basics?
When you hire a new permanent employee, you’ve committed to training them from the ground up. When you need temp staff, you expect them to arrive with at least a basic knowledge set. They should know all of their rights and responsibilities as per the ESA and other statutory requirements, and they should understand their responsibilities for maintaining a safe work environment. Temp staff should have a basic understanding of your business, and the role they’re meant to fill while they’re working for your company. If they don’t possess these basic competencies, they’re more of a liability than an asset.
2. Can They Learn More?
Like any employee, your temp staff must be trainable. Since temp staff work in a variety of jobs and industries, they've learned a lot of different systems. They must be willing to “unlearn” what they’ve done for other clients. You have your own system and processes, and they aren’t always compatible with the temp’s previous experiences. They have to be willing to set their previous experiences aside and commit themselves to learning the way you do things.
3. Are They Adaptable?
Every business environment is different. Your business functions with a different dynamic than every other business out there, no matter how similar. Temp staff work in a lot of different environments and, to be successful, they must be able to fit in with all of them. A temp who tries to create a new dynamic is much more likely to create tension instead. They must be able to go with the flow, and let your business work as it always has.
When you hire temp staff, you’re looking for a little help to get you over a rough patch. You’re not looking for drama, a business consultant, or someone to “shake up” your company. Quality temp staff should be able to move into your workflow with little or no disruption. If your temp staff are taking up valuable time with training, or causing disruptions in your workflow, it might be time to look for a new temp staffing agency.
Temp staffing agencies offer a great way to get qualified, short-term help when you need it. Temps can help fill in for absent workers, lend a hand during busy periods, or help out on large orders or projects. When things settle down, employees typically move on to their next assignment. But what happens if you decide to keep that temp permanently? It's not unusual for a client to hire a temp for a permanent position. However, not all temp staffing agencies make the transition easy. If you’re working with the right temp staffing agencies, turning a temp into a perm is quick and painless. Easy Onboarding.
When a temp arrives at your business, they already have the general education and experience required to fill the role. Every day they work for you, they’re gaining the specific education and experience to excel in the role. If the time comes for the position to become permanent, you’ve already got the ideal candidate in position. Instead of conducting a time-consuming and costly hiring process, you can simply choose to make the temp a permanent employee. Quality temp staffing agencies will work with you to make the transition smooth and effortless.
Full-service temp staffing agencies will be able to help you with every step of the onboarding process. They can help you put together a job offer, create a contract and benefits package, and even help with additional education or training for the temp. Their goal is to provide you with the best possible candidate for your business. Of course, if you’ve been building a long-term relationship with the same agency for a while, they’ll be in a much better position to anticipate your needs.
Stand-ins that Stand Apart
Working with reputable temp staffing agencies will get you much more than just a warm body for a day. The temporary labour force is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. It’s comprised of professionals from every conceivable educational and experiential background. The best temp staffing agencies only accept the best candidates. They use a rigorous vetting process to weed out the slackers and clock-punchers. Any temp who arrives at your business will have already completed a more exhaustive interview process than you probably have the time to conduct. Since they’ve already been vetted, and meet your basic qualifications, it only makes sense to take a temp on as a permanent employee.
"Cut Rate" Cuts Both Ways
Of course, this depends on the quality of the temp staffing agencies you work with. A bottom-dollar temp agency will likely provide you with bottom-rung temps. Finding a temp that you wanted to keep permanently would be unlikely. If you did, you may find that it’s simply more trouble than it’s worth. Bottom-dollar temp staffing agencies may not have simple mechanisms in place to ease the transition from temp to perm. They may not offer assistance with any part of the onboarding process. They could actually try to obstruct the process, or charge outrageous fees. Either way, you may discover that cheaper isn’t always better, as your discounts vanish without a trace.
Working with reputable temp staffing agencies will help you avoid all of these problems. They don’t make their money off of tricks, gimmicks, or hidden fees. They make their money by satisfying their clients, time and again. Whether you need a temp for a few hours, or a perm for a few decades, they can deliver.
As Bill 139 has become the law of the land, it has put more administrative and legal burdens on temp staffing companies throughout Ontario. Bill 139 was intended to provide protections and equitable treatment for the nearly 700,000 temp workers in the province. As such, any temp staffing company that operates in Ontario has had to make significant changes to how it conducts business. Most of the requirements of Bill 139 fall upon the temp staffing company. However, there are indirect effects and obligations that must be borne by the client. For the most part, these effects simply require better communication between the client and the temp staffing company.
It’s always a good idea to maintain close communication with your temp staffing company. The more they know about your business, the better their services to you will be. With the introduction of Bill 139, close communication is more than a good idea—it’s an absolute necessity.
Bill 139 requires that a temp employee receive a written job description prior to beginning the assignment. For the client, this means that they need to have a comprehensive job description delivered to the agency before a temp can be dispatched. For emergency situations, this is obviously problematic. The best solution is to work with your temp staffing company to prepare job descriptions for all foreseeable vacancies in advance. Having these descriptions on file will save you time in an emergency, and can help you avoid providing inaccurate or misleading descriptions in your haste.
It’s also important for you to communicate with your temp staffing company about any changes to the length of the assignment. The agency is required to give their temps adequate notice before ending any assignment. Failure to do so can result in the agency having to provide severance pay to the temp. Depending on the contract you have with the agency, any additional costs may be passed on to you if you don’t give the agency adequate notice.
Any issues concerning the temp and possible ESA complaints should be reported to the agency immediately. Since Bill 139, it is illegal to punish any employee for asserting their rights under the ESA. Failure to abide by this provision can result in hefty fines against you and the agency, as well as a possible order to compensate or reinstate the employee. If any issues arise, it’s best to contact the temp staffing company and work with them to resolve the problem.
Bill 139 gives temp employees the same rights to statutory pay as permanent workers. This creates increased costs for the temp staffing company. The costs aren’t limited merely to the increased pay for the temps. Extra administrative and timekeeping requirements act as hidden expenses—increasing costs for all clients. Whether the temps you employ are entitled to statutory pay or not, the increased business expenses can still impact your charge rate.
Keep in Touch
With Bill 139, the vast majority of statutory obligations fall to the temp staffing company. However, they can’t achieve full compliance without your assistance. Maintaining open lines of communication will help them comply with the law, and help them provide you with better services. Some agencies will introduce contractual obligations to promote communications, while others will simply trust you to do the right thing. Either way, keeping in touch doesn’t cost you a thing, and can help you save money in the long run.
Managing the cost of staff turnover is a problem that every business has to face. The problem is especially daunting, since many of the costs are hidden. As employees come and go, these hidden costs begin to pile up. Some of the costs are more obvious, like the cost of job postings or time spent interviewing candidates; other costs are harder to quantify. New employees take time to get up to speed, and they typically require training and supervision. That’s at least two of your workers that are at reduced productivity for days or weeks. And, if the new employee doesn’t work out, you get to start the entire process all over again. The hidden cost of staff turnover can quickly dry up your revenue streams. Working with a reputable temp staffing agency can help you mitigate many of these costs.
Hiring for Less
From start to finish, the candidate search and hiring process is expensive, time consuming, and offers no guarantee of results. You can spend weeks wining and dining the best applicants, and still end up with an open position. When you search for a candidate, you’re making a bet that you’ll find quality, who will eventually offset the cost of the hiring process. If you can significantly reduce the cost of the hiring process, you’ll reach the break-even point much faster.
A quality temp staffing agency has already performed the majority of the hiring process for you. They’ve found the best candidates, verified their education and experience, and performed all the necessary background checks. The applicants have been tested, interviewed, and evaluated. All you need to do is provide the temp staffing agency with a description of the position you need to fill. They’ll match that description with one of their pre-screened applicants, saving you the time and cost of a lengthy candidate search.
Training and Onboarding
A temp staffing agency can also help mitigate costs by getting your employees up to speed as quickly as possible. They can work with you to create educational and training materials that temps can access before they even arrive at your business. This can save you valuable hours that would usually be spent watching training videos or reading through manuals. Your new employees will arrive with all of the basic knowledge that they need to reach maximum productivity in a hurry.
An Ounce of Prevention
The best way to mitigate an expense is by avoiding it altogether. A temp staffing agency can help you solve your turnover problem, minimizing the cost of staff turnover. They can identify problem areas that are causing your high turnover. They can then help you create and implement a plan to remedy those problems. Reducing your turnover will immediately reduce your cost of staff turnover.
Higher Quality, Lower Turnover
Mitigating the cost of staff turnover is easy with help from a qualified temp staffing agency. They’ve already developed a pool of qualified applicants, saving you the cost of an extensive applicant search. They have the tools and expertise to help you get your new employees on the job and up to speed as quickly as possible. And, they can help you reduce your overall turnover, creating a top-down solution to the problem. With the high cost of staff turnover, it’s easy to see how it can sink an otherwise successful business. With the low cost of a temp staffing agency, it’s easy to see why you should be working with one.
In a perfect world, you would always know ahead of time when you’re going to need some extra help. There would be no unexpected worker absences, clients would always give you advance notice for large orders, and vendors would never experience delays. In the real world, things happen with little or no warning. You may not find out that you need extra workers until after it’s too late. When you have an urgent need for temp workers, will your temp staffing agency have quality staffing to send your way? If your temp staffing agency can’t provide quality staffing on short notice, you need to find a new agency.
Quality staffing starts with the candidate search. A reputable temp staffing agency will have hundreds of resumes and applications to pore over. They need to have the knowledge and expertise to separate the goal scorers from the bench warmers. Long before the interview process, every aspect of the candidate’s work and education history has to be checked out. This involves contacting former employers, talking to references, and verifying transcripts. This step weeds out applicants who don’t meet the basic requirements for the agency’s clients.
Candidates who make the initial cut then begin the interview process. Depending on the positions they’re applying for, this could involve multiple individual and group interviews. During this process, the temp staffing agency is learning everything they can about the applicant’s personality. This is done to ensure they can work with diverse groups, think quickly and accurately under pressure, and interact well with supervisors and subordinates. Temps are called on to wear many hats—this process ensures that the hats will fit.
Testing and Training
No temp can fill every conceivable role. That’s why skills testing and assessment is so important. The temp staffing agency learns about the strengths and weaknesses of each and every candidate. Candidates are then organized and categorized in the system by the jobs they’re qualified to take. This doesn’t mean that a particular candidate has all of the skills and knowledge for the jobs they’ve applied for—only that they meet the basic requirements.
Once they’ve met the basics, candidates can receive training to prepare them for particular positions. This training can be as simple as standard health and safety courses, teaching the candidate how to work safely in demanding positions. Or they can be complex training modules, created in partnership with the clients. These modules prepare the candidate for the specific requirements of a position.
Everybody into the Pool
The temp staffing agency maintains a pool of highly qualified temp workers. Those workers are matched to your specific requirements, ensuring that you get quality staffing that is up to the task. Each of the temp workers in the pool has successfully passed every step of the vetting, interviewing, and testing process. This pool acts as a ready reserve of talent, giving the temp staffing agency enough depth to provide qualified temps to a variety of clients without exhausting their resources.
Quality Staffing on Call
By maintaining a pool of quality staffing, a reputable temp staffing agency can respond quickly to your urgent staffing needs. Unlike other staffing agencies, they don’t have to scramble to find a warm body to fill the position. They can go through their list of qualified temps, finding the perfect fit for your particular needs. The temp will arrive at your business quickly, with all of the skills and training necessary for the role they’re filling. You’ll be able to fit them seamlessly into your workflow, helping to alleviate your urgent staffing need.
When you engage the services of a temp agency, you expect to get more than just a warm body. You want quality temp workers who bring experience and expertise to the position. They should be punctual, productive, and professional. You want them to mesh with your existing labour force, creating as little disruption to the workflow as possible. Of course, what you want and what you get aren’t always the same things. Some temp agencies may provide you with workers who do little more than take up space. By the time you get them trained and onboard, they aren’t worth the time, money, and effort you’ve spent on them. So, how do you make sure that you’re going to get quality temp workers? The easiest way is by working exclusively with a single, high-quality temp agency.
A reputable temp staffing agency puts applicants through an exhaustive vetting and interview process. Before they ever enter the labour pool, candidates are screened, interviewed, and tested to make sure they meet the job requirements. Their work and educational histories are verified, references are contacted, and any required background checks are conducted. By conducting these comprehensive checks, staffing agencies can help ensure that only quality temp workers make it into the candidate pool.
Before entering your workplace, quality temp workers are fully briefed on their various rights and responsibilities while on the job. This includes health and safety information, right to refuse notifications, overtime and vulnerable worker documentation, and even WHMIS testing paperwork, if necessary. When quality temp workers enter your workplace, you’ll know that they can perform the necessary work safely. With all of their paperwork signed and on file, you also don’t have to worry about any overlooked legislative requirements.
Teaching a temp worker the ins and outs of your particular business takes time and can lead to lost productivity. To prepare quality temp workers properly, you can work with the temp agency to create customized training programs. Temps who are going to be placed in your business can learn your system ahead of time, allowing them to move seamlessly into your workforce. The more you work with a single agency, the better they’ll be able to understand your business needs. This will help them choose better candidates, and it will help them create better training tools.
Getting What You Want
If you simply pick a random temp agency every time you need a position filled, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get quality temp workers. The only way to ensure that you’re going to get what you pay for is by using a reputable, qualified temp agency. Like any business relationship, you need to invest time into your partnership with a staffing agency. The longer you work together, the better you’ll understand each other’s needs and abilities. Over time, the agency will develop a better understanding of the qualities you're looking for. This will allow them to provide you with even higher quality temp workers.
A good temp agency provides much more than just quality staffing solutions. They offer a full suite of services along with quality staffing solutions including, training, compliance services, information management, and more. Developing a partnership with a high-quality temp agency allows you to take full advantage of their experience and expertise in multiple areas. Temp agencies are professional interviewers and employers, and specialize in all areas related to personnel and workplace management. If you consider them a long-term strategic partner, you’ll be amazed at the benefits they can offer.
Streamline Your Hiring Process
Trying to find a qualified applicant to fill a position can become a full time job itself. From advertising and interviews, to background and reference checks, a lot of time and effort can go into finding a single candidate. And, since there’s no guarantee the candidate will work out, you’re essentially betting time and money on getting the perfect employee the first time.
A temp agency removes all of these burdens from the hiring process. Their quality staffing solutions are built on years of experience. A temp agency handles hundreds, if not thousands, of candidate searches every year. They know how to quickly and efficiently identify the best applicants for each position. Their quality staffing solutions help them find educated and experienced candidates to fit any role. They can even offer training services to make sure candidates are ready to work as soon as they arrive at your business.
One of the pitfalls of the hiring process is trying to keep up with the ever changing laws and regulations. The federal and provincial laws change frequently and without notice. Even if the laws don’t change, their application can change from one situation to the next. And, to make matters even more confusing, different agencies may interpret the laws in contradictory ways.
Along with quality staffing solutions, temp agencies also offer compliance assistance. When you’re hiring a temp, they handle all of their legal responsibilities, and advise you of yours. If you’re hiring a permanent employee, you can use the advice and guidance of the temp agency to ensure that you’re meeting all of your legal obligations. This can help protect you from audits, fines, and even lawsuits.
The More You Know
Sometimes, you just want a little more information. Along with their quality staffing solutions, a temp agency can help compile data and prepare reports to help you make more informed decisions. These reports can provide a detailed look at your current applicant pool, a strategy sheet for current or prospective clients, or a look at the internal workings of your business. They can provide productivity and performance reports that let you know how you’re positioned for current projects, or give you detailed assistance in mapping future growth.
Back to Business
Quality staffing solutions are only one small part of what a temp agency can offer. One of the most important things they offer is time. As a business owner, you know that time is one of your most important assets. Time spent on areas outside of your core business focus is often time wasted. By taking advantage of the quality staffing solutions of a temp staffing agency, you can free up much of the time you’re currently spending on hiring, payroll, personnel management, workplace training, and more. By trying to do it all yourself, you end up getting stretched to the breaking point. Hire a quality staffing agency and let them focus on their areas of expertise. Their quality staffing solutions will free you up to focus on growing your business.
Workers are the lifeblood of any business. Without them, there is no business to speak of. You can learn everything you need to know about a business by looking at how they treat their workers. This is especially true for temp staffing agencies. If their workers are unhappy and dissatisfied, they’ll bring that unhappiness and dissatisfaction with them when they come to work for you. That can create drama and distractions that you simply don’t have time to deal with. Great temp agencies are in tune with their workers, and put forth the effort to keep them happy. This makes the temps better employees for the agency, and better workers for you.
Living Their Lives
Some people choose temp work due to personal or family obligations. For whatever reason, the nature of the work simply fits better with their personal lives. This may affect the distance that they’re able to travel, the number of assignments they take, or the type of work they’ll do. Great temp agencies are aware of these things, and work with their employees to make sure conflicts between work and life are kept to a minimum. If a temp agency forces a worker to choose between work and family, it’s the clients who will end up losing out. The worker will either quit, or show up to work miserable. Great temp agencies have the foresight to avoid these problems by keeping in tune with their workers’ lives.
Other workers choose temp work due to the variety of opportunities available to them. They like being asked to take on new and challenging responsibilities. Doing the same task over and over again feels stifling to them. They do their best work when they’re enthusiastic about what they’re being asked to do. Great temp agencies know how to get the most out of these employees. By finding them new and exciting challenges, great temp agencies are able to get more productivity out of these workers. Pushing them to take on greater responsibilities keeps their energy and enthusiasm high—making them great temps for any business.
A Little Help
Yet other employees just need some help getting their foot in the door. These may be recent grads, or just regular workers who have been impacted by the struggling economy. Whatever the reasons, they’ve turned to a temp agency for help finding work. Great temp agencies can not only find them work, but can also help them find new careers. By giving them a chance to gain experience in multiple industries, the temp agency can help these workers discover talents and strengths they may not have been aware of. These new-found abilities will work to the benefit of their clients. Along the way, they may find themselves falling in love with a position they’d never even considered.
Finding the Balance
Great temp agencies treat their employees like people, not products. By staying in tune with the needs of their workers, they’re able to maintain a higher level of happiness and job satisfaction. Workers who feel that their personal and professional lives are in balance are more productive, and less likely to let personal problems interfere with their work. As a client, you’ll reap the benefits of this worker satisfaction. Working with great temp agencies means that you’ll be working with great temps. Temps will come to you free from distractions, with their minds focused on the task at hand. Great temp agencies provide great temps. And great temps do great work.
Finding out a worker has been injured on the job is never good news. However, not finding out they’ve been injured is even worse. When a workplace injury occurs, you need all the information you can get. Without timely, detailed injury reports, you can’t take the appropriate steps to treat the injury, fix whatever caused the injury, and make any necessary reports to the government and your insurance carrier. If you’re kept in the dark, the first report you get about the injury could be from a government investigator or, worse yet, a lawsuit. Some temp agencies ask their workers to only report injuries to them. This could leave you dangerously out of the loop. You need to make sure that the temp staffing agency you work with understands the importance of reporting any injuries directly to you.
Getting detailed injury reports in a timely manner helps you in several ways. As soon as you have the details on the injury, you can make sure that the temp has received, or is receiving, the appropriate care. Showing concern for the temp worker, and making sure they get the help they need, can go a long way toward preventing any future litigation.
Timely injury reports also help you prevent additional injuries. If the injury is due to a workplace hazard or malfunction, you can immediately take steps to secure the area and start repairs. If the injury was caused by inattentiveness or improper procedures, you can take the opportunity to review your training and documentation protocols. In either instance, the end goal is to prevent as many injuries as possible. Detailed injury reports give you the information you need to make your workplace as safe as possible.
When you report a workplace injury to your insurance carrier, they’ll want to have as much information as possible. Being able to tell them what caused the injury, and what’s being done to prevent further injuries, can help you avoid rate hikes or rejected claims. If you can’t provide adequate details, you may end up paying for medical bills or lawsuits out of your own pocket. Until you satisfy their reporting requirements, the insurance agency may assume that the injury was caused by your negligence. Having detailed injury reports can help you refute that assumption, and get your claim honored.
Due to their nature, some injuries must be reported to the government. Failure to report these injuries can result in criminal prosecution. When submitting injury reports, as many details as possible should be given. Following an injury, the government may choose to conduct a workplace inspection. Having all the details on the injury can help you prepare for a possible inspection.
More is Always Better
When a workplace injury occurs, more information is always better than less. Detailed injury reports give you the information you need to control the situation. Without that information, it’s impossible to formulate and execute corrective action. Worse yet, while you’re in the dark, the situation that caused the injury could be getting worse. The primary goal is prevention, but that’s not always possible. When prevention fails, an informed, proactive response is the next best thing. Without detailed injury reports, an informed response isn’t possible. To stay in the loop, make sure your temp staffing agency provides detailed injury reports on all workplace incidents.
When you need a temp worker, you may be tempted to just call the first temp agency listed in the phone book. This may get you a worker for a couple of days, but you’ll miss many of the advantages that come from building a long-term partnership with a single temp agency. To reap all the benefits that a temp agency can offer, it’s important to work with them over time. Today, a temp agency can offer much more than just a stand-in employee. Over time, they will learn about your current and future needs, helping them to better provide you with temporary and permanent employees, as well as other services.
Getting to Know You
Businesses are becoming more reliant on the temporary work force every year. It’s likely that you’ll need the services of a temp agency on an increasingly frequent basis. Relying on the luck of the draw every time will eventually backfire, leaving you with a temp who is ill-suited to your needs.
Working with a single temp agency gives you and the agency a chance to build a strategic partnership. The agency can learn about your business, your current workload, and your future objectives. This makes it easier for them to proactively recruit candidates who are tailored to your specific needs. When you call for a temp, you’ll be presented with candidates who were specifically chosen for the roles you’re trying to fill. This is much more reliable than leaving the selection up to chance.
Planning for the Future
As your business grows and your needs change, the temp agency can help you plan for the future. Together, you can look ahead and predict changing requirements for the education, experience, and training of your temps. This can help you get temps who are ready to step directly into key roles in your business. You’ll save time and money that you would usually spend getting the temp up to speed. For short-term employees, the less time you have to spend onboarding them is more time you have to put them to good use.
This is especially useful if your business has a seasonal uptick, or other increase in demand on your workers. Since the temps are already up to speed, they can immediately begin easing the burden on your permanent employees. During a period of increased production, time spent training a temp creates additional, unnecessary stress on your labour force
Filling Multiple Roles
Using multiple temps, from multiple agencies, can make internal tracking incredibly difficult. Different agencies will use different systems to track their people. If you use several agencies, you'll need to learn those different systems, creating more work, and paperwork, for you. Using a single agency, with a single tracking system, simplifies the entire process. Sticking with a single system also helps reduce the likelihood of errors that can create additional expenses.
Using more than one staffing agency increases the complexity of finding qualified candidates. More complexity leads to more hassles, and an increased chance of problems. A single temp agency can become a long-term partner, helping you avoid hassles and future problems. Over time, a quality temp agency can learn to predict your needs, having qualified candidates on hand before you know you need them. Pick a single, high-quality temp agency for all your staffing needs, and you’ll discover that things run more smoothly, and with fewer complications.