When Should You Hire Temporary Help?

The Payroll CompanyHuman Resources, Payroll

You’re doing everything possible to keep your business moving forward. Does interviewing, hiring, and recruiting top talent always get put off? Using temporary or temp-to-hire positions has a number of benefits.

You can test the waters to see if an increased workload would justify creating a permanent position. Conversely, perhaps the new client or job won’t last. In that case, you don’t want to bring on a new long-term hire and then not have enough work to sustain the position. Temp-to-hire positions allow you to see firsthand how workers handle the job, which is the most informed way to hire long term.


Perhaps your staffing needs are seasonal — you need extra workers during the holidays or during busy production periods. This is where temporary employees are an answer.

Specialized temp employees mean you don’t have to settle for low skill levels or imperfect matches, because temporary agencies pre-screen and pre-train workers. And, if you don’t have the time or money for recruiting, you can work with the temporary company to interview and relocate workers. These firms will even provide resources for health and unemployment benefits, workers’ compensation, vacation time, and profit-sharing.

Of course, you want to work with a temporary agency that can provide a qualified temp right away. Ask for references and contact them directly, obtaining their opinion of the temporary help and their quality, reliability, reputation, service, and training,

Consider your expectations — clearly define your needs to help you understand and obtain the help that you are looking for.

When are other times that you’d turn to temps?

  • When your business is rapidly expanding.
  • Your production requirements are fluctuating.
  • You need a specialized skill-set on a limited basis.
  • No time to find and vet staff.
  • When you need help for a few weeks, or even hours. Instead of paying full-time wages, you can hire someone for exactly the time period and tasks you need.
  • If you’re seeking help with a high-skill project, but only on a limited or sporadic basis.
  • When you don’t want to make layoffs if the extra work you suddenly have vanishes.
  • If you want access to specific talent profiles you don’t possess internally for a given period of time.
  • If you see you’re going to have long-term absences: maternity or medical emergency leave, military duty, or a sabbatical – or have an unexpected staff resignation.
  • When you want flexibility and convenience to make smooth transitions without interfering with business activities.

Done successfully, supplementing permanent employees with temps is a strategic process for times that it’s imperative to have extra help. You can then offer the temp a permanent position – if it’s a good fit – knowing this worker is already trained and fits into the company culture.