Magazine article Workforce

How Do You Handle Temporary Workers?

Magazine article Workforce

How Do You Handle Temporary Workers?

Article excerpt

DEAR WW: My little company just landed a big order from a huge warehouse chain. I need to ramp up my business, but I'm nervous about hiring permanent workers because there's no guarantee we'll keep the new business. On the other hand, I've always had rotten luck hiring temps. What should I do?

-FAMINE TO FEAST

DEAR FEAST: Do you treat a rental car as carefully as you treat your own? On second thought, don't answer that question; just listen to this story. My friend John once rented a car that had a mechanical device on it that prevented the car from going over 60 mph. Well, being industrious-and in a hurry-John figured out that he could go as fast as he wanted just by accelerating the car and putting it into neutral right before the speedometer hit 60 mph. Terrific! Until one time he accidentally overshot neutral and put the car into reverse. Describing the experience later, he adapted the old United Negro College Fund slogan. "A transmission," he observed, "is a terrible thing to waste."

Well, sad to say, many companies treat temporary workers the way drivers treat rental cars: They drive them into the ground. The problem with that is that even though they're called "temporary," misplaced or abused temps can cause permanent damage to your business. Or, in your case, to your feelings about hiring temps again. But temps can be a boon to your business. You just need to hire the right ones-and then treat them carefully.

I turned to Dick Patton of Express Personnel Services to learn the secrets of hiring temps. His observations should also provide some insight to anyone out there who'd like to be hired as a temp. …

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