An employer asked us about what the next steps were after you hire a temporary employee  –

I just hired a temp to take over while our Receptionist goes on holidays for two weeks. I’ve never hired a temp before and I’m not really sure what the usual protocol is for what to do when they start. Do they just know how it works or do we have to go through training with them? Our usual Receptionist is normally the one who deals with all the stuff like showing them the emergency exits etc that I’m not really sure what would even be involved! 

We turned this question over to Ioana Bucsa, one of our specialists in Temporary and Contract in Vancouver, for her advice on the matter:

A temporary employee or contractor is still a new employee, and the first very important step is to have proper onboarding for them. You probably already have in place an excellent process for onboarding permanent employees, so why not be just as prepared for a temporary one?

Here are a few steps we suggest you take when onboarding a temporary employee:

  • Define your expectations of the temporary employee and clearly communicate them to your recruitment consultant (if you are using one). Your consultant should prepare any candidate coming in so they know what’s expected of them.
  • Develop a clear job description and set of requirements. This can be an adaptation of the one used for the permanent role if the temp is acting as a “fill-in”.
    In your case, try to locate the job description of your current Receptionist and revise with him or her what duties can be taken over by a temp during those two weeks.
  • Inform your current employees of the temp coming in and make sure they are aware of what the expectations are.
  • Have a training process put together to bring the temp quickly up to speed. Identify key priorities that should be covered first. Ideally this will be done by someone who has performed or is extremely familiar with the role.
  • Decide who would be best to offer an orientation and training support for the new person. For “fill-in” situations, it’s best to have a cross-over period between the temporary and regular permanent employee.
    If there’s no possibility for cross-over between your current Receptionist and the temporary one, make sure your regular Receptionist has either shared the duties/orientation information with someone else in the company or has sufficiently documented it.
  • Set the stage: organize seating arrangements, computer access, stationery and whatever else the job will require access to. Make sure the person coming has all the tools necessary to perform at their best.
  • Open your communication channels to the temp. Decide on a recurrent time to touch base with them and give some feedback. Also give feedback to your recruitment consultant to ensure the temporary employee is performing as expected.
  • When possible, involve the temp in regular team activities such as team lunches or outings. This will help them to feel part of the team and not like an outsider.

Hiring a new member of your team, even a temporary one, is always an important process and decision for your business, as well as your team.  Done right, it can improve morale, bring new expertise and use it to your advantage in further success.

Using the services of an agency that is specialized in temporary and contract placements will guarantee you will find someone who is available immediately and has already been screened, interviewed, referenced and prepped to seamlessly join your team. If you’re looking for temporary or contract assistance, contact one of our TempsAhead offices in Vancouver (604.682.456) or Edmonton (780.733.1220).


Ioana has over 8 years of recruiting experience, focusing on roles in accounting, administrative support, skilled trades and logistics. Prior to recruitment, Ioana worked in accounting and office personnel as an Accountant and Executive Assistant. It’s this industry experience that helps her to really understand the needs of her clients and candidates; always thinking from their perspective to truly find the right fit. Having moved from Romania to Calgary and then Vancouver, she is adept at responding to market changes and quickly engages in new environments. Her responsiveness and wide professional network helps her daily as a consultant to clients and candidates alike. Ioana has always been involved in her community as an AIESEC Alumni, a former Secretary for a Rotary Club and as an HR Coordinator for Women In Leadership.