5 Secrets to Hiring contract help: No staffing agencies

December, 18, 2020 by Linda Singer author workhoppers

As an employer you may have come across times when you need to hire a temporary employee. Temporary help can include filling in for a maternity leave, seasonal or gig help. For example,  your team may have a special project and need to hire a specific skill like a graphic designer for a new logo, a programmer for your website or an SEO expert to increase web traffic. Other needs arise during busy seasonal or peak periods where you experience employee shortages. For example, you may have a retail store and Christmas shopping is around the corner and you need to have additional staff to cover the longer hours or you need a little help with your bookkeeping.

Temporary or contract help allows businesses to adjust quickly to workload fluctuations. Perhaps one of your employees is ill, on vacation or has a sudden unexpected departure. Another common occurrence is that an employee is expecting a baby, sometimes it seems to happen all at once and you may have a few employees expecting at the same time! Canadians enjoy great maternity and parental benefits. A biological mom can take a maximum of 15 weeks if they cannot work due to their pregnancy. With parental benefits, parents can share a maximum of 35 weeks to take care of their biological or adoptive baby. Companies are often faced with finding a maternity leave replacement or parental leave replacement.

Parental Leave

Some employers get very worried when the need for a temporary worker arises. They assume that temporary workers are generally less reliable than permanent full time employees. However, this is untrue. Contract workers need to do a great job in order to ensure future contracts. Constant job hopping allows these people to develop skills and acquire a deep expertise in their field.  A surprising finding during a study by Dr Heather Scott-Marshall of the institute for Work and Health, Toronto, found that those workers who hold more than one job at a time, or moon-light have fewer absences at work.

One bonus to hiring a contract worker is that it allows both parties to try each other out before committing to a more permanent arrangement and temping often leads to full time work for many. It can often be a good entry point to the labor market for young people.

So what do companies do when faced with a temporary, seasonal, contract, maternity or parental leave replacement?

Traditionally, a company will consider the services of  temp, recruiting or staffing agencies.  A look in the yellow pages or quick Google search of “Staffing agencies near me” and you can engage their services with a phone call or visit.

Using the traditional services of temp or staffing agencies can often have hefty fees. In addition can prove to be extremely costly should you decide to hire your temp on a more permanent basis. One alternative to using the services of staffing agencies, recruiter or temp agencies is to engage the services of a freelance marketplace.

Working together

At Workhoppers, we target your job to the right people and our powerful matching algorithm filters your search to provide you with a shortened list of local professionals that have the skills you need and are specifically seeking flexible work arrangements. Alternatively, if you would like a little more hand holding, we offer a concierge service which will go one step further to not only find but pre-screen and evaluate candidates so all you have to do is get started. All services at Workhoppers work on a simple, cost effective flat fee. Unlike temp or staffing agencies, no commissions are ever paid.

Either method you choose to hire your temp, once you have found your perfect candidate, here are 5 secrets to successfully hiring a Contract Worker:

It is best to start early in your search for a temporary or contract worker

This is not always possible in the case of replacement for a sick worker. But keeping track of upcoming projects and planning in advance for seasonal or maternity leave is ideal. Have your contract worker come in a week earlier or sooner if your budget allows having them trained. Consider cross training them to fill other positions in other departments as well to fill in if needed.

Make your new temporary worker feel welcome

Treat them with the same respect and care that you do your permanent employees. Making them feel comfortable will encourage them to ask questions and seek clarification. This will help avoid mistakes and keep them motivated. And who knows, you might want to hire him (her) again.

Communication is key to success of the relationship

Ensure that you clearly define the goals and expectations of the role. Do a brief walk through orientation of the organization and introduce them to the personnel. Verbally or show them in writing company policies and procedures. Set up a weekly meeting time, or other frequency, to review goals and ensure they are being met.

Pair up your contract worker with an experienced employee

It is a good idea to pair up your freelancer or temporary worker with an experienced employee in the same department. This person can act as a go to person for any questions or issues related to equipment or work details that may arise.

Ask for feedback, give feedback and recognize good work

Let your temporary worker know that your door is always open to questions or additional guidance.

Use the above tips to on-board and help your temps and freelancers become a valuable resource to your team.



  1. Max Jones

    I’ve always wondered about temporary jobs for hire and having people come in for short term work. I like that you talked about treating people who are hired for temporary jobs just like any other employee. I’ve thought about using temporary jobs for hire as a way to find work in the past, and knowing that I would be treated just the same as everyone else would be really helpful and comforting!


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