10 hot tips for being a top temp

Ange Connor

There are many great benefits to undertaking temp work if you are seeking work, but it is very different process to searching for permanent work and therefore requires a very different approach. If you are considering undertaking temp work there are few things to be aware of that will help you build a positive relationship with your temp agency and ensure that you are on the top of their list to call when a temp opportunity arises. Your goal should be to build a strong and positive relationship with your recruiter so they know they can rely on you, want you representing their agency and that you won’t let them down. Temp opportunities come and go pretty quickly so to make sure you are front of mind and on the top of your recruiters list of temps here’s my hot tips for being a top temp:

  1. Flexible & Adaptable: Temps who are flexible and adaptable to the types of assignments they are willing to undertake and the type of work tasks they are willing to do will be presented with more opportunities. Unlike searching for a permanent position, you are not looking for your dream job for a day or a two week stint so you need to be realistic about what you are happy to do.
  2. Contactable: The world of temp work is fast paced and most opportunities need to be filled pretty quickly. Having a voicemail is crucial! As is returning our call as soon as you can. If we can’t reach you or don’t hear back from you asap, we will keep contacting other temps.
  3. Available: You need to be available at short notice. So many times I have contacted a temp for an assignment and they say yeah that would be great but I can’t start for 2 weeks. Unfortunately we generally can’t wait for you. We understand you can’t put your life on hold hoping you might get a temp assignment but you do need to bear in mind the quick turnaround of temp assignments. And no, sometimes we can’t give you the day to think about it.
  4. Open communication: Is key for building a great relationship with your recruiter. Keep in touch, let them know when you have commitments or a holiday booked or are undertaking another assignment.
  5. Honesty: Telling us that this temp assignment doesn’t interest you is not going to get you crossed off our temp list forever. It’s crucial to be honest with your recruiter and let them know your situation. If you are applying for permanent positions that may jeopardise you fulfilling the contract or you are going to need some leave during the assignment, flag it in advance so we can work around it with you, never try and cover it up and then spring it on us, if you do you’ll end up losing the recruiters trust and damage your integrity and credibility.
  6. Be prepared: As I’ve mentioned a few times now things move quickly in the world of temping and being prepared will show your recruiter they can rely on you. From having a work outfit ready to go in case you get a call at 7.30am to start a temp assignment at 9am to having all the right qualifications / tickets / licences / checks (working with children check or forklift licence etc depending on the type of temp work you are looking for)in place; being prepared will open more doors.
  7. Do your research: In this sense, temp work is the same as searching for a perm position. When your recruiter flags a temp opportunity with you or sometimes you may need to attend an interview with the host organisation, do your research on the company. Understanding who they are, what they do and how they do it will help you make a great impression.
  8. Give feedback: Don’t be afraid to give your recruiter feedback on the assignments they contact you about or once an assignment is completed. Feedback is important for us to be able to help match you to the right temp opportunities. It’s ok to decline a temp opportunity but it helps if you let us know your reasoning.
  9. Be open to feedback: Your recruiter will get feedback on you during placements and from interviews you may attend with host organisations. Ask for feedback from your recruiter if it’s not forthcoming and be open to taking that feedback on board; it will help you improve yourself for future temp assignments.
  10. Have the right mindset: If you are serious about wanting to temp you need have the right mindset and approach it seriously. Don’t be fooled in to thinking temping is just an easy foot in the door to an organisation or a quick way to get work without the effort. Demonstrating the right mindset and showing that you are committed, willing to give different tasks a go, ask questions to be really able to add value to the role you are filling and are prepared so you can hit the ground running will help make you a recruiters first choice when a temp opportunity arises.

Having temped myself many years ago, I know first-hand the opportunities it can create, the skills you can develop and the doors that temping can open if you can prove yourself as valuable and committed temp. Good luck with your temping career and positioning yourself as one of your agency’s top temps!

About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

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