Temporary Employee Training

Hello everyone, I am just wondering how companies that use temporary employees handle training for them. We've recently had to use a number of Temp employees due to COVID-19 and not being able to hire fast enough. Do you train them as if they are a normal employee or do you use a scaled down version of a training matrix only focusing on key items? Thank you!

2 Replies

Like everything, this is an “it depends.” Temporary personnel need to be trained on the aspect of the job they will perform and should be trained to the same level of rigour.

As Jeremiah Genesh said, “it depends”. If due to special circumstances you need temp employees and do not have the time or resources for training (besides Safety training), then place the temp employees on the most automated or straight forward tasks and move your permanent employees to the tasks that require more expertise on the materials, processes, etc. In other words, move your permanent employees to where Quality is critical since they are your company and know your product or service.

To do this, and remembering W.E. Deming, “in good times double your training budget, in bad times triple it.” Meaning, you need to train, train, train all your employees in all aspects of your business. When someone is not there, then someone else can pinch-hit for the absent employee with no issues, and the temp can do jobs that do not require the greatest expertise. For this, your training program, your employees and your processes have to be robust, well designed and predictable so any anomaly can be detected early before it leaves the production line, before it leaves the department, before it leaves your warehouse.

Also, temporary is temporary. Having employees working for you more than three days, one week or two is not temporary. Once they are there for two or more weeks, your process depends on them and training needs to be the same as if they were a permanent employee. Think of having a flat tire in your car. The spare tire (your temp), should only be there for a few hours until you repair or replace the actual tire. Of course, nothing would happen if you have a full size spare tire – cross-trained employees and supervisors.