How to attract a temp and/or contract worker 

2 minutes | Bradley Pierson | Article | | Temporary and contract hiring

Woman looking at the building.

So now that you’ve decided to hire a temp or contract worker, it’s time for the tricky part - going out to find them. More than often, this requires a different approach to your standard perm candidate attraction strategy. 


Highlight the main benefits to the candidate 

  1. Become an expert – When contracting you continuously develop your expertise, increase your capabilities and ultimately become more valuable as your skills expand. You will also quickly build a large network of influential business contacts. 

  1. Find your ideal permanent role – you gain experience with a variety of companies, helping you decide what you want from an employer. Many of the temporary roles employers recruit for subsequently become permanent - so if you do land a contract role in your ideal organization, you may be in luck. 

  1. Flexibility – Temporary contracts make it easier for you to achieve your ideal work life balance, as you have more freedom to choose where and when you work, or even take a career break.


How do I sell a temporary/contract role in my organization to a candidate? 

The status of temporary work is different in each market. Many candidates are choosing temporary work as a way of life , like IT Contractors – valuing the greater flexibility in their work-life balance, the opportunity to gain more experience and skills and the ability to make important business contacts. 
Alternatively many view temporary work as a stop-gap until they can find permanent employment. As such, you will want to emphasize different benefits to candidates depending on your market. 

  1. If you’re in a market where the ‘white-collar’ contractor is more established, you should stress how your role will provide interesting challenges for the candidate, giving them opportunities to gain certain skills and pick up more competencies. It doesn't hurt to highlight the (hopefully enticing) pay package as well. 

  1. If you know your candidates are ultimately looking for perm roles you will need to be upfront from the start whether there will be a possibility of your role becoming permanent in the future. If the role definitely won’t become perm, how might it help them get a different role in future? 

Make it clear why the job you’re advertising is temporary or contract e.g. you have a project with a defined start and end date. 


The job advert 

It should look pretty much the same as for a perm role: clear job title, compelling company description and inspiring job specification. 


Should you treat your temp candidate any differently? 

The short answer is no! Provide them with a proper introduction to your business goals as it pertains to the role, and the practical training they need to perform their job. 
You won’t want to finance expensive professional qualifications but short practical training that will improve their immediate performance in their role is logical. 

In general make them feel as if they are part of the team. The main complaint received from contractors or temps when they finished an assignment – they can sometimes feel a bit isolated from the team. This will surely have an impact on their performance as well, either consciously or not. 

About this author

Bradley Pierson
Managing Director for the Americas - Enterprise Solutions

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