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  1. How to get the most from your temporary assignment

    July 12, 2016 by Alison Hill

    Temporary work can be great for all involved. Companies get to fill leave positions, cover for a key person who is ill, or find an extra pair of hands in busy times. Newly qualified workers can gain experience in the workplace and try out different industries and employers, and otherwise unemployed people can keep their skills current and earn an income while they search for a permanent position.
    A first-class agency that specialises in the industries and skills that both the company and the temp are interested in can make a good match great.
    So how do companies and temps both get the most out of the temporary assignment? We asked Melissa Lombardo, Challenge Consulting’s Temporary Services Consultant,  and considered what employers have valued when they nominated people for our Temp of the Month award.
    Here are four things you can do to maximise the temping experience.

    1. Be reliable
    Reliability is Lombardo’s first requirement. It seems self-evident, but sadly it isn’t. She explains that Challenge maintains a group of excellent candidates that have been interviewed and reference checked, so that when an assignment arises, the candidate can fill the position the same day if necessary. ‘This means reliability is the most important characteristic of a good temp’, says Lombardo. ‘Temps who show commitment to the position will be most likely to be offered the next position, as they’ve demonstrated their reliability by showing up and completing the placement’.

    What they said about the temp …
    ‘Her work rate and standards are very high’ – Challenge Temp of the Month Michala Kowalski
    ‘She is so accommodating and bright that any company would be silly to not offer her a role for which she applies’ – Challenge Temp of the Month Janette Wallman


     

    2. Be a clear communicator
    The agency can make a good match if both the temp and the organisation are clear about what they want. If a temp is unable to take a position because it means a long commute, they should say so, says Lombardo. A reasonable recruiter would not hold that against a temp, and can offer them another assignment closer to home.
    Organisations should try to plan for covering maternity leave, annual leave or periods of higher activity. With more notice, the temporary recruiter can place the most suitable person, particularly for longer assignments. The best temps are in high demand and may be unavailable at short notice.

    What they said about the temp …
    ‘She is a strong communicator and is able to deal with our introducers demands with ease’ – Challenge Temp of the Month Anna Kemp
    ‘… a friendly and energetic part of the team’ – Challenge Temp of the Month Nishma Manandhar


     

    3. Be open-minded about the assignment
    Lombardo says that both organisations and temps can be reluctant when the person’s skills and experience are more than the role requires. Approached with an open mind, this situation is a winner for all concerned.
    The temp has a great opportunity to impress, to network and to learn new skills and systems. They will be remembered when it comes to making a permanent hire in a position for which the temp is qualified; they will think of Charlie the great temp receptionist who was actually a qualified accountant when the next suitable vacancy comes up.
    ‘The company gets the benefit of a person with strong experience and skills, representing great value for money, says Lombardo. ‘This is particularly true for those on working holiday visas, who may be much more qualified than is necessary for an admin assistant.’

    What they said about the temp …
    ‘… doing jobs far below her skill set but she would not tell you she is degree qualified in the science field’ Challenge Temp of the Month Janette Wallman
    ‘Despite being a senior HR practitioner and working with us on contract, Janine has mucked in with admin duties’ – Challenge Temp of the Month Janine Brockway
    ‘… consistently amazes us with the upgrades he has made to our SharePoint site’ – Challenge Temp of the Month Peter Sunga


     

    4. Have a positive attitude and go the extra mile
    Temps are always meeting new people and working in different environments. It helps to be friendly, positive, and open to new experiences. If the temp assignment is more junior than is ideal, a positive person will see it as a good way to network and have new learning experiences.
    Employers should be open to contributions that are ‘above and beyond.’ Just because they are temps, it doesn’t mean they can’t make excellent suggestions or put improvements in place.

    What they said about the temp …
    ‘… jumped at the opportunity to take on challenging additional work’ – Challenge Temp of the Month Charbel Elhage
    ‘… made a huge effort to pinpoint any areas for further development’ – Challenge Temp of the Month Nishma Manandhar
    ‘… not only performed the role as required, but has worked to make continual improvements to the process’ – Challenge Temp of the Month Aisling Kennedy


    Find out more about Challenge Consulting’s Temporary Staff Services here.


  2. Why Hiring a Temp Can Be the Best Business Decision

    July 19, 2011 by Jenna

    Last week’s blog post focused on the qualities and characteristics of top temps.

    This week, we continue with our temp theme, but from the perspective of companies and the various reasons the choice to use temporary staff makes good business sense for them. 

    “The number of temporary employees in Australia has grown dramatically over the last 20 years with just over 400,000 people currently employed on a temporary basis.” *

    Whilst a business may and should have a stable core team, there are many instances where additional staff members may be needed. A temporary employee can fulfil many objectives within a business. They can provide cover for absent employees, expertise and skills where there are gaps, project or leadership expertise if/when required and general flexibility for employers, who are cautious about making a permanent hire.

    We polled our client readership last week and asked: “What is happening in your business now that makes hiring a temp the best solution?”

    Results:

    #1 = Ad-hoc needs, eg: special projects, tenders, etc – 36%

    #2 = Seasonal workload increases – 27%

    Head-count constraints – 18%

    Inability to source suitable permanent staff – 9%

    Supporting flexible workplace planning practices – 9%

    As Jeff Doyle, Adecco Group CEO says, using temporary staff fosters great flexibility, and “enables companies to adjust their labour supply to meet the peaks and troughs of their business needs and it helps them access a range of specialist skills as and when required. In addition, companies use temporary labour to save costs”. **

    Hiring a temporary candidate can enable businesses to afford someone that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to afford to hire permanently. Temporary candidates are often highly qualified and experienced and they can add enormous value to a business in the short term.

     “Temporary employment is a strong favourite at the big end of town with all Top 200 ASX listed companies supplementing their workforce with temporary employees.” *** 

    Another major reason, though not one of the questions asked in our poll, that companies hire temps is the ‘risk reduction factor’ of a ‘temp-to-perm’ arrangement.

    This employment is very common, especially of those employers ‘cautious about making a permanent hire’ cited above, whether this caution stems from head-count or budgetary constraints, or a previous disappointing permanent hiring experience.

    Our Temporary Recruitment Consultant, Melissa Lombardo, asked Karli Scully, Macquarie Leasing’s Customer Service Supervisor, why hiring temporary staff works for her team’s needs: “So we can try before we buy … plus we don’t know what the volume of work will be in the future.” Risk-reduction and flexibility are both part of the equation here!

    In a temp-to-perm arrangement, a temporary contract is awarded as a trial to assess a candidate’s suitability for a role before hiring them permanently. On the whole, there is less risk involved in hiring a temporary worker. If they choose to hire an individual on an hourly or daily rate, they won’t lose out financially if the candidate suddenly decides to leave the business.

    So, how do businesses source their temporary workforce? Well, the “number one method of finding suitable staff for organisations of all sizes is through recruitment agencies”. **** If your business requires temporary staff members for any of the reasons discussed here, our 20+ years of temporary recruitment expertise is here to fulfil your needs. Learn more about our temporary staff services here. 

    [Sources: *, **, ***, **** from www.hcamag.com article “Demand for Temp Labour in Australia Explodes”]




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