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Best Practices When Hiring Temporary or Contract Workers



There are various reasons why companies hire temporary or contract employees. Some examples include:

  • Organizations may want to fill short-term gaps, which could result from short or long-term leaves from one of their existing staff, for example, a maternity leave or disability leave.

  • Taking work off existing staff if they have a significant workload.

  • Growth of an organization.

  • A company needs to complete specialized work and they don't have the expertise internally to complete these tasks.

Whatever a company's reason is, there are a few best practices to follow when hiring someone for temporary or contract work. Below are a few of our tips.


1. Be clear about expectations.

You always want to be clear about position expectations when drawing up a contract, but you especially want to be specific when you are looking to hire a temp or contract employee. Ensure you include information about:

  • Whether there is an opportunity for the employee to stay on board after the term has ended.

  • The pay structure. Are you going to be paying hourly, by project, will the employee have a set salary?

  • Will you be offering temp employee benefits?

2. Interview for skills and experience.

Generally, when an organization is looking to hire someone, their skills and expertise are just one piece of the puzzle. Employers also look at the person’s goals and aspirations, how well they’ll fit into the company, etc. However, when looking for a temp or contract worker, employers are more likely to hire someone based off skills and experience versus long-term fit. An employee with more experience will need less training and get projects done faster.


3. Ask what type of work the employee is looking for.

Asking this question will help you decide as to who you want to hire and how you want to draw up a contract for that person. For example, take a person who prefers a full-time position, but is having trouble finding one and is willing to work temp. You need to ask yourself:

  • What if they find a full-time position during their term with you? How will you handle that?

  • Would you consider making them a full-time employee overtime?

  • Are they going to be motivated to get the job done if what they really want is a full-time position?

4. Don’t spend too much time on the hiring process.

Of course you want to ensure that you hire the right candidate, but you also don’t want to spend a huge amount of time and resources looking for someone who is only going to be with you for six months. As mentioned in point number two, generally you will be looking for someone who can just get the job done.


5. Don’t make them feel disposable.

In addition to the point above, don’t make the employee feel like they are just a temp or contract worker. Regardless of how long they are there for, they are still working with you as part of a team. Even if they are more skilled, take the time to train them if they need more of it, ensure they have a comfortable workspace, check up on them regularly and ask them how they are doing, include them in work socials on ZOOM, etc.


Watch Marc Belaiche, CPA, CA, President of TorontoJobs.ca discuss this topic here.


For more tips and advice, you can watch all our videos on our TorontoEntrepreneurs.ca YouTube Channel here.

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