How to onboard temps


Temps, temporary staff, contractors – whatever you call the colleagues who join your organisation for a set period of time, rather than permanently, they are critical to your success.

At the end of 2021, there were an estimated 1.7 million temps out in force across the UK. They have played a vital role in keeping the country moving over the challenges of the last few years – a role that shouldn’t be underestimated.

Your temps or interim staff might be Membership Renewal Officers joining you for maternity or parental cover to ensure those renewals go out on time. Or perhaps you need support across your Events programme to ensure they run seamlessly. To help guarantee the success of your temps and interim staff, you need to have a strong onboarding strategy.

Onboarding your temps is a key part of the hiring process. Get it right, and your temporary staff will hit the ground running, deliver your projects and typically remain loyal to your organisation.

Nine Tips to Successfully Onboard Your Temps

  • Get all the technology ready beforehand – make sure everything from their computer to their phone system is ready to use immediately. You should have their email address created and either installed or available to install. There is nothing worse than scrabbling around on the first day trying to get this sorted.
  • Day one procedures – onboard your temporary team member as if they were a permanent member of staff. If you’re in an office or on-site, then cover the day one essentials like a site tour, fire and first aid procedures, who’s who, and so on.
  • Have you got an employee handbook? If so, make sure the new team member has access to a copy of this and point out the most important sections (don’t assume it will be read thoroughly, so do pick out the highlights!)
  • Talk through the relevant software you use that is specific to the role – hopefully, and especially if you have a specialist membership sector temp, they will be familiar with your systems, whether that’s accounting systems, your membership database software, even down to the platform you use for internal communication like Slack or Microsoft Teams
  • Make it clear who the temp or contractor reports to and who are their key colleagues or stakeholders. Indicate who their first port of call is if there is a problem (both personal and work-related).
  • Think about having a buddy system – this works well in larger organisations and for both temporary and permanent employees. It might not be the line manager or department head, but potentially someone doing a similar role who the new team member can shadow even for a short time.
  • Once your colleague has been in post for a few days, and in the coming weeks, ensure there is regular and open communication and check-ins. Throughout the recruitment process, it should have been made clear what the goals of the role are and the major milestones along the way. Make sure you’re having regular check-ins to ensure progress is being made and that your temp is happy and motivated in their post
  • Leading on from the above – work with your temp or contractor to ensure you have realistic expectations about what’s achievable both from the projects(s) they are involved in and the duration of their contract. Work with your temp to set these expectations, particularly if they are an experienced project specialist coming in at a senior level. If this is the case, they will have experience of what’s possible and be able to anticipate any bumps in the road along the way.
  • And finally, if you are a regular user of temporary staff and contractors across the business, think about rewards systems you can use to increase their loyalty and help attract the best talent in your arena. There are various contractor rewards schemes available offering everything from online GP services to discounted gym membership.

The overwhelming advice we can share about onboarding temps is twofold

  1. Have a consistent and ideally documented onboarding plan so everyone knows the process and how to welcome temps into your team.
  2. Treat your temporary and interim staff as if they were a permanent member of the team.

The second point is vital. Remember that some of your temps will be around for the mid to long term, plus you might need their support again. Treat them poorly, and your reputation will be damaged. Treat your temps well, and they will deliver results for you.

To discuss any aspect of temporary or interim staffing, contact the Membership Bespoke team.