8 min read

Reference Checking for Temporary Employees

Okay, let's be real here. In the crazy world of business, there are times when you just need some extra hands on deck, am I right? That's where temporary employees come in. But listen up, because bringing on the wrong temps can be a total nightmare. That's why reference checking is such a big deal – it's like your secret weapon for avoiding hiring disasters.

Why References Matter: Dodging Bullets

We've all heard the horror stories – those employees who talked a big game but couldn't back it up. Checking references gives you a chance to separate fact from fiction and make sure you're not getting sold a lemon.

Skipping over this step is just asking for trouble. An unqualified or bad fit temp can wreak havoc – tanking productivity, bringing team morale way down, maybe even ticking off clients or customers. In some extreme cases, you could be looking at legal issues or rep damage in your industry. No fun at all.

But get this – doing a solid reference check could lead you to hidden gems. Maybe a candidate undersold themselves or has amazing people skills that would be gold for your company. Taking the time to really dig in increases your odds of scoring a true temp all-star.

Asking the Right Questions

Effective reference checking isn't about firing off a lame checklist of yes/no questions. It's a delicate dance where you uncover the real scoop on a candidate's skills, strengths, and overall mojo. Here are some areas to really probe:

  1. On-the-Job Performance: Don't just ask about job duties. Dig into strengths, weaknesses, ability to handled detailed tasks, meet deadlines – the full monty.
  2. Team Worker or Lone Wolf?: You need the lowdown on how they gel with others. Communication skills, handling conflicts, going with the team flow or pulling a diva act.
  3. Master of Solutions: Get examples of them tackling tough problems and using their brain to innovate. You want creative thinkers, not just order takers.
  4. Professionalism Proof: Attendance, following rules, keeping their cool – all the signs of a true pro. No flakey unpredictable types allowed.
  5. Leadership Material?: Even if it's not a manager role, you may need them to take charge sometimes. Get a read on their potential to inspire the troops.

Making it a Two-Way Win

Reference checking is a conversation, so you want to make it a positive one for the reference too. Here are some tips:

  1. Set the Tone: Explain why you're calling and emphasize confidentiality. It puts them at ease to be fully honest.
  2. Open Questions Rule: Don't just ask yes/no stuff. Go with open-ended questions like "Tell me about a time when the candidate had to..."
  3. Listen Up!: Pay attention to tone, pauses, subtle cues - those can tell a lot.
  4. Don't Let It Go: If you're picking up vague vibes, courteously keep probing until you get real examples.
  5. Gratitude Attitude: Thank the heck out of them! They're helping you dodge a bullet here. Some appreciation goes a long way.

Getting the Full 360

For the full scoop, you want to connect with former managers, coworkers, maybe even direct reports if relevant. Each one offers a unique viewpoint:

  • Former bosses? :They'll give you the download on work ethic, skills, and overall performance.
  • Coworkers? :They know all about teamwork abilities, collaboration style, and fitting in.
  • Direct reports? :The inside scoop on leadership skills, mentoring abilities, motivating people.

Putting all those perspectives together helps you spot consistent positives or raise flags. Gaps or contradictions deserve a closer look.

Keeping It Confidential, Player

Some references may be hesitant to spill, worried about confidentiality or legal stuff. No sweats, just reinforce that you ONLY want their honest opinions on the person's fit and abilities for the role. Make it crystal that you won't share any proprietary tea or even reveal they spoke up.

If they still balk, no need to push it. Moving on is better than burning a professional connection or opening yourself up to legal drama. You want frank insights, but only if offered freely.

Letting Tech Do Some Heavy Lifting

Doing a ton of reference checks can eat up so much time, right? Thankfully there are some cool tech tools and online platforms to help streamline the process now. You can:

  • Use standardized templates to ask consistent questions
  • Store all responses securely to easily compare later
  • Automate reminders so you get faster response times
  • Allow references to record feedback whenever convenient

Having a system makes this way more efficient instead of chasing folks down individually. That's using modern solutions!

Always Elevating Your Game

Reference checking is one of those practices you gotta constantly re-evaluate and improve. Get feedback from your hiring team, keep up with best practices, and iterate.

Having formal training is clutch too. It ensures everybody understands why this matters and follows consistent guidelines. This reduces biases, keeps things above board legally, and upholds professionalism.

And setting clear criteria for evaluating references - like a rating scale for key competencies - makes it much easier to objectively compare candidates. You want evidence-based decisions, not gut feels.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, thorough reference checking for Temporary Employees isn't just busywork. It's an investment that can save you from bad hiring decisions that enable slackers, impact productivity, and damage your reputation.

Asking the RIGHT questions, hearing multiple perspectives, and making it a positive experience for references - that's how you separate the MVPs from the toxic temps. A little effort now avoids a metric ton of headaches, frustrations, and regrets down the line.

So don't overlook this critical step when you need to staff up temporarily. Doing it right means bringing aboard skilled, reliable temps who truly mesh with your company's values and drive success. That's the name of the game!

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