What characteristics make a top temp?

Last week, we asked our readers to vote in our online poll: “What is the #1 characteristic of a top temp?”

The results were:

– #1 = Reliability: 45%

– Attention to Detail and Accuracy: 20%

– Initiative / Proactiveness: 20%

– A Can-Do Attitude: 15%

– Ability to Work Under Pressure: 0%

Of the myriad characteristics an employee can display in the workplace, being a temp is a whole different kettle of fish. The very nature of their work and the demands required of being a temp makes them a unique group of workers. The #1 characteristic voted for in our poll was Reliability – 45%. Definition: the quality of being dependable or reliable.

Employers expect the temp to be there on time, every day, job-ready and keen to fulfill the requirements of the assignment to the best of their ability. Employers depend on the temp to achieve the tasks and responsibilities of the assignment for its duration all day, every day. For a top temp, there is zero tolerance towards slacking off or doing a so-so job. They take pride in doing a good job and making a real contribution to their host employer. No matter how small or big, they have made their mark.

I asked our Temporary Recruitment Consultant, Melissa Lombardo, for her insights into the highs and lows of managing temp staff. She had this to say:

“It is a great feeling to have a top temp as you are confident in placing them absolutely anywhere knowing they won’t let you down or jeopardise your reputation.

When a temp lets you down, you can’t help but feel bad and that it is your fault, even though you did the best you could and ultimately have no control over people’s actions and behaviours! Added to this is the frustration of time wasted and having to start the process of sourcing a candidate and filling the job for a second time.

My criteria for a top temp are as follows:

1. Reliability and commitment to an assignment

2. Honesty

3. Returning phone calls promptly

4. Warmth, friendliness and a smile

5. Regarding a temp assignment as they would a permanent role, with 100% professionalism and commitment, and not a casual ‘oh this is just for a few days so who cares?’ attitude

6. Flexibility – with pay, with job type and tasks, and with location – ‘Oh, I only work in the East, darling’ – No Thanks!!!!!!”

Reliability is the cornerstone of being a successful temporary employee. A top temp is a valued and respected member of a team, regardless of how long they are a member of it.

“Accomplishing the impossible means only that the boss will add it to your regular duties.” Doug Larson