Temporary staffing solutions can help businesses fill gaps in their workforce

Temporary staffing solutions can help businesses fill gaps in their workforce – whether that is covering sick or maternity leave, providing additional support on projects or during peak periods or bridging a permanent recruitment process.

However, bringing in staff on a short-term basis can be challenging for line managers and the business as a whole. There can be risks involved with hiring workers who don’t have a long-term commitment to the organisation and who need to hit the ground running.

Reliability, dedication and loyalty are all attributes you’d look for in a permanent employee. By following these top tips for hiring reliable temporary staff, we can help make that a reality for your interim staff as well.

Build a Profile of your Ideal Candidate

Most employers are looking for temporary staff demonstrating self-motivation and dedication, who can be relied upon to show up for their shifts as well as follow all protocols and practices. In order to start your recruitment process, it can help to write down some of these traits and use that profile as a reference point throughout.

For example, when you are writing the job description you can incorporate any essential or desired attributes and skills. Have a think about who would fit well into your team culturally, even if it’s just on a short-term basis – and how you can attract the right temp employee.

You can also look to this profile as you shortlist CVs, prepare your interview questions and conduct reference checks. This way, you have a consistent criteria to assess all candidates against and get as close as possible to finding your ideal team member.

Plan Your Hiring Process

Now that you have your profile locked in, it’s time to think about the next steps in the recruitment process. Candidate resumes can identify red flags for potentially unreliable temp staff who you might want to steer clear of. Look for some of these:

  • Unexplained absences between jobs
  • Multiple short-term roles, for example jobs lasting days rather than weeks or months
  • Changes in industry or role type

It’s always worth giving applicants a chance to explain any of the red flags during an interview, so don’t completely write them off. Instead, make a note to follow up in person during the next stage. On the flip side, you will be able to spot a reliable temp if you see a pattern whereby they work for the same company multiple times – implying they did a good job and have been asked back again.

Preparing questions for job interviews is also essential for effective recruitment of temporary staff. Asking the right questions will help you learn more about a candidate’s motivations and their commitment as well as their skillset.

Suggested interview questions include:

  • What are you looking for in your next role?
  • What appeals to you about this particular position?
  • What’s the longest time you’ve ever worked for one employer
  • What’s your reason for leaving your current/previous job?
  • What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses as a worker?

Asking behavioural interview questions will help you gain the most accurate possible impression of how a candidate operates in a work environment. For example, ask your interviewee to describe a time when they missed a deadline. What happened and how did they overcome it?

What you’re looking for here is not excuses for why the deadline was missed, but how they felt about the error and what the final outcome was. A good response to this question can show commitment to the business, initiative and regret for the situation. A bad response can demonstrate apathy, blaming of others and lack of dedication to the role.

If a temp recruitment agency has referred jobseekers to you, make sure they have screened each person with similar questions. A reputable temp agency will always take the time to properly vet candidates before referring them to your organisation.

Conduct Reference Checks

Reference checks are essential for getting objective insights into a candidate and their previous work performance. The aim is to look for evidence that backs up the claims a candidate has made on their CV and during the interview process. It also lets you cross-check what the referee is saying against your ideal candidate profile.

It’s crucial to obtain contact details from at least two people who can provide a reference, including the candidate’s current employer if possible. Always ensure you’re speaking to the named referee and confirm the professional relationship the referee had with the candidate. Asking open-ended questions will yield the most accurate information.

Key questions to ask referees include:

  • Can you describe some of the candidate’s weaknesses and strengths?
  • Were there any issues with absences or showing up late for shifts?
  • What was their reason for leaving the role?
  • Would you hire them again?

Engage a Specialist Temp Agency

Employers greatly benefit from tapping into the expertise of a temp recruitment agency. By working with an agency, employers can draw from a recruiter’s large database of skilled, motivated and reliable temp workers who are ready to start their next assignment immediately.

Temp agencies have a wealth of experience in every aspect of temp hiring – from finding new people, screening applicants, interviewing and reference checks, to managing payroll for temp staff. They will have deep knowledge of their market and understand the risks involved with hiring casual and non-permanent workers. An agency can also reduce your administrative burdens by ensuring candidates have completed necessary pre-employment medicals, background checks and safety training.

Employment Group recruits talent across a range of corporate and industrial sectors for organisations in Australia and New Zealand. We’re dedicated to learning everything about our clients to deliver services tailored to each company’s needs. To find the best candidates, we combine the latest technologies with traditional methods and all our temps undergo a rigorous checking process to ensure they’re the ideal fit for the job. Our approach has resulted in a high level of customer satisfaction, with more than 90% of our work consisting of returning clients.


To recruit reliable temps, it pays to have a plan worked out in advance to get the best results from the hiring process. Think about the key aspects of the position and how a candidate’s CV and interview stacks up against your hiring criteria.

If temporary hiring is critical for your business, it could be best left to the professionals. By using the skills and resources of an agency, you’ll be able to find the right people without wasting time and money.

Need to hire people fast? Our team of temp recruiters is available to assist you with all your temporary hiring needs. To find out how we can help, connect with us here.

Author – Employment Group