When you employ temporary staff to work for your business it can open up a world of possibilities yet also present a few risks. As an employer, it is your responsibility to meet your workplace obligations and provide a safe working environment for both your temporary and permanent staff.
Under the Fair Work Act 2009 temporary staff are entitled to the same minimum employment rights as permanent staff, as well as the same work, health, and safety laws as well.
Furthermore, they are covered by the National Employment Standards (NES) and the entitlements of their specific Modern Award. Although, if the recruitment agency supplying the temporary staff has their own enterprise agreement, this may replace some or all provisions of the award in your business.
Regardless of your industry and type of position you need to fill, there is probably an employment agency out there that can pair you up with a qualified candidate.
Choosing the right type of recruiting agency is key to reaching a positive outcome. Some agencies cater to a wide range of industries and job types. While other agencies focus on a niche field or industry, where they only offer registered employee who possesses a specialist set of skills, knowledge and experience. Generally speaking, specialist agencies charge higher fees and rates, yet also offer the kind of exclusive talent you won’t find elsewhere.
Why should you approach employment agencies? That depends on your circumstances. But the most common reasons why other employers do it is so they can:
Regardless of why you approach an agency, you should be clear as to describe the kind of candidate you are looking for. Key details to mention include your preferred role, job title, specialist skills and experience, and a proposed commencement date of employment. With this information, the agency will draw from their pool of registered employees and present to you only the most qualified candidates for the job.
When you hire temporary staff through an agency, there will be two separate agreements in place: one between you (the employer) and the agency, and another between the agency and temporary staff.
The only agreement you need to be concerned about is the one between you and the agency. This agreement lays out a number of unique terms and conditions including the responsibilities of both parties. While the terms of an agreement vary considerably, the most likely provisions you will come across include:
There are many advantages to hiring temporary employees. While cost-cutting is one of them, the real calling card lies in the flexibility of the arrangement itself, as it can be modified to meet the specific needs of any business – regardless of size, type or industry.
Other key advantages to temp work and similar arrangements are:
Should your temporary staff already be trained? On a purely technical level, yes. However, they are unfamiliar with how your business does things and, likewise, your permanent employees are unfamiliar with your temporary staff too. If both parties are not on the same page it can raise a number of health and safety red flags.
That is why you need to prepare an employee training plan. Be sure to communicate your workplace policies and procedures to your new temporary staff. And let all permanent employees know ahead of time that a new employee will soon join the company to do temporary work.
If necessary, provide extra onsite training and support until the new employee is comfortable in their role.
Workplace culture defines the character and personality of your business. It encompasses a number of attributes that make your business unique such as values, beliefs, traditions, behaviour, and attitudes.
For this reason, it is a good idea to define your workplace culture before you hire a temporary employee. This way, you are more likely to find a candidate who not only has the necessary technical skills and knowledge, but who also ‘gels’ with your other employees and the environment itself.
Also, keep an eye out for any instances of workplace bullying or discrimination brought against any temporary staff. Be sure you follow the correct management procedure in a fair and consistent manner.
For most temporary agreements, if you (the employer) are unsatisfied with the behaviour, performance, or conduct of an on-hire employee, you must give reasonable notice before you can legally dismiss them. Before taking action, it is prudent to check any agreements that are in place and your rights and obligations under those agreements.
Always closely review the terms and conditions of a temporary workplace agreement before you sign and before taking action under the agreement. And clarify any confusing terms or conditions so that you know exactly what the agreement means for you.