How to Welcome Interim Staff

Question: We need to add some interim staff, but don’t want our current staff to treat them as “temps,” any suggestions?

Answer: Bob Nealon, Regional Manager for Robert Half International, has some thoughts that might help.

  • Understand exactly what you need in skills, experience and required duration in an interim staffer before advertising or contacting a staffing firm.
  • Communicate your plans to your existing employees. You might even involve your staff to define the skills and experience that would be appropriate for the interim staff.
  • Be prepared. Make sure the physical elements of your business are prepared to receive the interim staff, whether it is office space, uniforms or equipment. Not being prepared sets the wrong tone for everyone from the outset.
  • Make introductions. Either do the introductions yourself or assign the responsibility to a staffer to introduce the interim staffer(s) to everyone else. If you assign the task, make sure it is someone that is fully knowledgeable about the work to be performed. A quick orientation to the workplace will also make them productive quickly
  • Explain the task. Interim staffers are normally very flexible and able to adapt to a variety of different working conditions. But, they are not mind readers. You need to make sure they understand the challenge of the tasks you are assigning to them.
  • Maintain a dialogue. Since interim staffers are “outsiders,” they might not be as willing as your employees to identify issues, so maintain open lines of communications with them. This feedback will be invaluable to maximize your investment in additional staff. Outside eyes often view things from a different perspective. You may gain additional insights into your staff
  • Make them a part of the team. Invite them to team meetings and special events. This will help them feel connected, boost their satisfaction and boost their productivity. You also can evaluate them as a potential full-time employee should the need arise

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