A ‘temp’ is a temporary employee, often hired for a time-sensitive project. In general, most temps are acquired through a staffing agency. It’s crucial to choose the right temps for your project. As the project manager, it’s up to you to complete the assignment to the bosses’ standards, but this can’t be done if the engineers you hired aren’t competent. The solution is hiring people you can count on, and the following is advice to help ensure that your next temp is hard-working, reliable, and fully competent to perform the task.

Choose a Reputable Staffing Agency

If you’re finding your temporary employees on websites, such as LinkedIn and Craigslist, you’re basing your decision on the word of the potential temp. How do you know Susie Q is really a COE (College of Engineering) graduate? How do you verify that she’s telling the truth about her education and experience? Unfortunately, even employers can be catfished. To avoid this pitfall, hire a staffing agency. A reputable staffing agency is going to fully vet their candidates, ensuring your temp is fully qualified for your project. The staffing agency will verify the temp’s references, education, background, and employment history. They may perform screenings and background checks, saving you the headache of performing these tasks yourself.

The Right Temp for the Job

If your project is very specific, you’ll want to choose a staffing agency that’s also specific. For example, engineering placement agencies specialize in staffing a range of fully qualified engineers. These temps will understand the various mechanics involved in development, computing, and testing. Some will specialize in robotics, while others will be trained in computer design. Because the agency specializes in engineers, you’ll have a larger pool of engineers to choose from. Thus, you’ll guarantee yourself a temp that’s fully qualified to work on your project. “Your business can realize service excellence delivered at its highest level of performance: through a fully scalable range of engineering workforce solutions, led by a tenured staff for more efficient, consistent outcomes,” writes Kelly services, on a page that details their engineering workforce solutions.

Choose a Team Player

It never hurts to select candidates based on their team experience. Ask potential candidates, “Have you ever worked on a team before?” If her answer is yes, ask her to detail the experience to you. If the engineer hasn’t worked on a team before, it’s up to you whether or not to give her the job. (If her attitude is positive, and you believe she’ll be an asset, give her a shot. Alternatively, if she has a negative attitude, it’s probably not a good idea to work with her.)

Non-Disclosure Agreements

Some people don’t have great ethics. If your project involves new ideas (ideas which can be stolen), you may want to ask any temporary employees to sign a non-disclosure agreement. This agreement is going to protect your project, and any subsequent ideas. You don’t want your temp to steal your hard work. A non-disclosure agreement protects trade secrets. It’s a contract that forbids parties to share (disclose) confidential information. If your temp spills the beans on any new ideas you’re fleshing out, you’ll be able to sue her in court.

From Temp to Permanent

If you find a temp engineer you like working with, don’t be afraid to request that worker for your future projects. Keep in mind that she may not consistently be available, especially if she’s in demand. The only way to guarantee her availability is to offer her a permanent position in your company.