When you are hiring a temporary Accounting resource for specific projects or tasks, it is crucial to ensure their commitment for the entirety of the contract duration. Your worst-case scenario is that they resign before the end of the term and leave you in the lurch, especially if they have key skills that are in demand and difficult to find!
Contractors play a vital role in helping you through busy periods, backfilling an absent team member or working on projects. Their performance can have a significant impact on productivity and morale in your finance team (negative or positive).
Below are 5 easy ways to optimise the temp's input to your team and give them a reason to commit for the full duration:
Ensuring your contractors’ full commitment to your role starts as early as the final stages of the interview process and continues on their first day with the team and beyond. By outlining the reason for the role and the responsibilities clearly, you can establish expectations and likely timeframes, understood by both parties. This provides clarity for your temp knowing what is expected of them.
For example, if your temp Accountant knows that the 'go-live' date for a system implementation is the 31st of December they are more likely to stay committed to see this through. Or if they understand that it is a contract covering Long-Service leave for 3 months, they can expect a handover period but not an ongoing project.
It is no secret that salary is always an important factor when job seekers take on new roles, permanent or temporary. Offering a competitive salary/hourly rate is an important way to incentivise contractors to not only take on a project in the first place but to commit for the duration. You can do this by ensuring it aligns with the current market. If you are bringing them on because of their specialised skill set, for example, their IFRS 17 knowledge, or their consolidations' experience, you may need to consider ensuring your role stands out from those longer-term or broader roles that are being advertised.
One way that some of our clients have ensured their contractors complete the duration of the assignment is to offer a completion bonus. By doing this, the contractor is incentivised to see the whole contract through. It is also an attractive prospect to the temp as most do not get to participate in the annual bonus schemes that are offered to permanent employees.
If you have engaged your temporary staff member via a recruitment agency, you can rely on your recruiter to check in regularly with both you and the temp. Whether you hire via an Agency or direct, communication between you and your temporary staff should be no different from that you have with your permanent team members. Addressing concerns, giving feedback and advice, and allowing them to voice their opinions and ideas help to build their involvement in the team and the project. They will feel heard and trusted and this can then help them to see that their contributions are valued and ultimately strengthen their ties and commitment to the team.
If contractors have an opportunity to contribute to system implementations or process improvement projects, as examples, this can help sure up their commitment as adding these achievements to their resume can help them secure another role going forward.
Sometimes feedback from contractors is that whilst the roles are exciting for them to begin with, they can sometimes feel like a thankless task; you are brought in to cover a shortfall or 'save the day' – or bring a whole new skill to the team to enhance a project – but it goes unrecognised.
Recognising achievements and milestones and celebrating these publicly as you do with your permanent employees can go a long way. Whilst we’re not saying you need to do this every week for every completed task, recognising their knowledge and effort can act as a huge motivator for contractors, making them feel a part of the team and the business for their duration.
You hopefully have a steady and stable team who have worked with each other for a while, and the team has a supportive and collaborative way of working. Ensuring this is extended to your temporary contractors will help them to collaborate and build relationships making them feel valued and part of the camaraderie. In other words, sit them with the team, and invite them to relevant meetings and team events, lunches etc. By fostering this internal team culture and extending it to your temps, you will provide a sense of belonging and commitment for the contract duration.
Contractor commitment is crucial for your team’s expected outcomes and their contribution can ensure the success of a project or tide you over during busy periods. The above 5 tips will hopefully help you to provide the right environment for your temp to stay for the duration, and encourage outputs that are above and beyond what you initially hoped for from a temporary staff member.
If you need further information on how to hire a temp for your accounting team, short or long-term, contact us and speak to one of our dedicated recruiters for temporary recruitment in Sydney.