The Ultimate Onboarding Checklist for Temporary Workers
Temporary workers must be integrated into the workplace as swiftly and efficiently as possible so that they can begin their assignments in a timely manner. PMI understands that every second is valuable because as we all know, time is money, which is why we’re sharing our Ultimate Onboarding Checklist for Temporary Workers. Human Resources professionals know that an onboarding routine should take between 45 to 60 minutes. This is dependent on several factors including the state that you live in, and the labor laws that apply to your state. This can only happen if you have the proper processes to follow and required documentation prepared ahead of time.
There are five important ‘C’s to onboarding any employee. These can be tweaked for your specific temporary workers based on your company policy and needs.
This part of your onboarding can be done online before your temp begins working. Since it is the paperwork part of the process, it can be quite time-consuming which is why it is best done beforehand. Be certain that all the necessary paperwork for new employees is completely filled out (including Forms W-4, W-2, I-9, and state withholding) well in advance of their first day of scheduled work. This package of documents can be sent to them electrically in the form of a hyperlink to each temporary employee. In some states, such as California, employees must also fill out other documents such as health insurance, workers comp, disability, sexual harassment, and more.
As an option to make it easier for payment to temporary employees, be sure to offer direct deposit payment. Forms are also dependent on the industry. Does your field of business require OSHA compliance? Check your state’s requirements to be on the safe side and compliant with state and federal laws. It is also important that intellectual property and non-disclosure agreements are signed at this time as well, before any work begins.
Does the temporary worker need a parking spot assigned? A security badge? Client assigned laptop and computer password? All of these things should be handled in the compliance part of the process. This is also the time to issue the company handbook to the temporary worker. Give them time to read and sign it. This also helps mitigate any potential lawsuits and keeps employee toxicity to a minimum.
The badge and passes should be waiting at the door when the temporary employee arrives at the building for their first day of work. If the client requires the temporary worker to have security clearance because of the sensitivity to intellectual property that the client possesses, (usually for federal government agencies) then this documentation should be furnished at the time of entry into the facility or in advance depending on the compliance policy of the company.
This is when the work process will be explained step-by-step. Someone should be at the front door or desk to greet the temporary employee as soon as they arrive. The time and exact place should be specified in the documents they received online. Where will they perform their job? Who will they report to? To whom will they inquire when they have questions? How are timesheets entered, submitted and approved? Cover breaks and pay, when and how. If these were not covered in the online information, they are important questions that a reporting manager should be able to answer when asked.
This is a good time to take the employee on a tour of the facility to point out where all the important areas of the organization are, like restrooms, break room, and copy machine. Also, introduce them to key staff members, those they will work directly with as well as those they will work in the near future. This is the beginning of integrating them into the company culture. Encourage them to ask questions and let them know they will be supported and who they can turn to for future questions.
If you really want your temps to blend in, be productive, and be happy, make sure they know where the water cooler and the coffee machine are. Studies have shown that employees who consume coffee are happier, more productive, and have better work experiences and memories at companies than those who do not. As an added bonus, be certain they know when and how long their lunch break is and the location of closest eateries with the best bang for the buck. Maybe even set them up with a team member for their first lunch experience. This will give them a connection – the next step of the integration process.
As your new temp is touring the facilities and learning their new tasks, meeting new employees, and learning about the company culture, it’s important that they feel connected – even though they will only be with you temporarily. Time passes quickly when you are happy. Whether your temporary employee is with you for a week, a month, or multiple years, you want them to feel content to be with you. You never know, you might need them again in the future. So do everything you can to forge a good connection with the new hire by connecting them with the company, other employees, and the culture of your company.
You can do this in the ways suggested above as well as by ensuring that their desk is clear and prepared for them to work. Some companies even go out of their way to provide a welcome package to temporary employees as a way of saying welcome to the team, even if for a short period of time. Invite them to bring in pictures of their family to personalize it. Or have a nameplate (with their name correctly spelled) already on it for them. You can post all the temps photos on the company intranet site with a brief paragraph about each to introduce them to everyone. Or simply post their picture near the water cooler or coffee pot with their name under it. Anything to help them connect and feel welcome with those around them.
It’s important to establish clear communications with the temp, whether it is with their mentor, their immediate supervisor or other employees around them. The more of a connection they have, the more they will feel part of the company as a whole. This will provide for better integration and communication within the company.
Depending on the type of temporary assignment and duration, some temps become permanent full-time employees after a specific period of time (usually in 12 months or longer). So it is always best to treat them as though that is a possible eventuality.
Make sure your temps are aware that they are welcome to ask questions at any time, that it is an ongoing process and that there will always be someone available to answer their questions. Be certain that in the clarification process, they were directed to a specific person who would always be available at any time to answer their questions.
Smooth and quick onboarding is an important part of integrating a temp into your company so that they are comfortable and work as a productive and valuable part of the team. With a little preparation and some good management, it’s as easy as five C’s. There’s no question, your employees will be content and so will your company.