The Questions Which Hiring Agencies Ask Employers

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Published: 17th June 2015
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Are you considering employing temporary staff for the first time? If this is a new venture for your company then you should be aware of the questions which the hiring agency will ask you before they allocate someone to your business. Some of the questions will be obvious, such as the job title of the work you're offering, but others may surprise you. Depending on your reply, there could be long term implications for your company if you haven't thought through your requirements and expectations.

For example, a hiring agency will want to know the length of time your assignment will take. It is important to think through how long you will need a temporary worker so that you don't fall foul of 'the 12 week rule'. What is this rule, how does it work and what could it mean for your company if you haven't given the timing sufficient thought? Let us suppose that your temp is engaged for 4 weeks. The temp completes their set task and goes back to the hiring agency ready for another assignment at a different workplace. The arrangement worked well and everyone is happy with the results. However, four weeks later you decide that you'd overlooked an important section of the original task and will need further temporary assistance. Because you were satisfied, you ask the agency to send back the same temp. Now, if that person returns and works for you for a further 9 weeks, even though the task is not exactly the same, then the assignment is deemed to be continuous. Here's the important bit; because the job has taken more than 12 weeks (4 + 4 + 9 = 17) the temp is entitled to the same terms, conditions and benefits as any other member of your permanent staff who is working in a comparable role. So, you can understand that time spent working out what your temporary work entails and how long it will take to complete is really important.

When booking temps, the hiring agency will want to know the hours of work you are offering and whether it is part time or full time work. The rate of pay being offered is an obvious question but it still needs thinking about. Consider what you would normally pay one of your permanent staff in a comparable role and use that as the base.

There will also be questions about the temp's right of access to a number of facilities and amenities at your place of work. These will include car parking, access to the canteen, Luncheon Vouchers and the availability of a crèche. It doesn't mean that you have to have any of these facilities. If you're not sure how to respond, then the hiring agency will prompt you by asking what you offer your staff who work in comparable jobs. You would be expected to offer the same facilities to your temp.

Taking on temporary staff is straightforward once you've thought through why you want extra staff and how long you will need to employ the temp. Ignore these basic requirements and the implications for your company could be long term and cost you money. Fortunately there is plenty of help and advice available online.

Matt Crumble works for PBS, a specialist in payroll outsourcing and HR outsourcing for small businesses. The PBS website offers guidance about employers hr documents and payroll management services.

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