The National Football League officially ditched its replacement referees this week, to the delight of fans. But did you know there’s a lesson HR pros can take away from the debacle, too?
When you boil everything down, the NFL’s woes came from using temporary workers.
The difference: In most companies, temporary staff don’t have much of an opportunity to make major mistakes that can hurt the company and its employees.
Unfortunately for the NFL, that wasn’t case — they had no option when it came to hiring the replacement refs, and the officials’ mistakes were viewed by millions of people on TV and caused a media firestorm.
Luckily, that doesn’t have to be the case with your firm. But what should you be looking for when it comes to temp workers — and should you even be looking for temp staff at all?
Does it make sense?
Some companies in a bind make the mistake of thinking they can get by in hiring temps for key positions.
But that could be a serious mistake: Too many times, temporary staffers don’t have the horsepower you need to get the job done.
That can cause serious disruptions in operations — and nullify any savings you’ll feel in payroll from not bringing on a full-time staffer.
The key: Be scrupulous in considering which open positions can justify having temps involved — and which ones would benefit from a more permanent employee.
Keep 4 areas in mind
If you do see a value in bringing in temporary staff, especially if you’re in a small business, there are a handful of guidelines you should keep in mind:
- Training. Will someone need to hold a temp’s hand throughout his or her entire stay at the firm? Or can you just sit the temp down, tell him or her what to do and go about your day? Depending on the position, having someone peeking over the temp’s shoulder all day may just not be worth it.
- Your employees. How will your current staff be affected by temporary workers? Will they also need to monitor the worker when the supervisor has to handle something else — and what effect will that have on morale?
- Quality. Unlike a new full-time staffer, you need results from a temp and fast. If you hire a temp and he or she isn’t cutting it, you need to be able to cut him or her loose and get someone else in to do the job — even if it’s one your own employees.
- Customers. If a temp is going to interact with business partners, vendors or customers, you need to be sure they’ll be a good face for the company.