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What to look for in a temp CV
09 August 2016
When your business is looking to take on a temporary worker, the hiring process is typically simpler to hiring a contractor or permanent employee. Your recruitment agency will usually handle paying the employee as well as filing all of the appropriate paperwork. Put simply, your involvement will primarily come down to choosing the best applicant.
When hiring a temporary employee, one of the most important factors to choosing the best candidate is the temp's supplied CV.
Although a temp's CV should still meet all of the layout requirements and expectations of a contractor or permanent applicant’s CV, there are a number of factors within a temp CV you should consider to be sure you choose the right hire.
Transferable skills are the best skills
Any employee who makes a living through temporary roles should know how crucial it is to sell their transferable skills within their CV.
Transferable skills are those that can be used in a variety of roles and positions, and are not necessarily skills that are technical in nature. Examples of important transferable skills that should stand out on a temp CV include strong communication skills, the ability to work well under pressure and second-to-none time management skills, among others.
These are all imperative to the daily running of a business and there should be no question about them when reviewing a CV. An applicant should be shortlisted if their CV effectively demonstrates their transferable skills and how they have positively impacted companies they’ve worked with in the past.
Approaching a temp CV laterally
One thing to keep in mind when reviewing temp CVs: there isn’t as much opportunity for frequent temp workers to develop specialisms or make an enormous impact in a temp role. Remember that the candidate’s achievements could be more limited, and they’ll often have less detail about their roles to accommodate the wide variety of jobs they’ve taken on. In these cases, it’s important to think broadly about how the skills they do have could be applicable to your business context.
For instance, if the candidate has experience in a receptionist role, their skills might be suited to a different customer-facing position; a person with data entry experience might have the organisational skills to take on an admin role; a call centre worker might transition well into a sales role. The key takeaway is to look for fit instead of direct experience.
Vetting temporary workers
When you’re in a hurry to fill a role, how can you be sure that ‘highly organised’ and ‘good interpersonal skills’ are actually qualities that the applicant has?
Asking for examples during an interview is the most direct way to ensure the candidate has the experience to back their claims. Many temp workers are frequently in situations where they must rapidly fit into a team culture, so looking to their references can be a good way of ascertaining whether they will be an asset for your business.
Often, an agency will facilitate personality and work aptitude tests for candidates. This provides crucial extra assurance that your temporary hire can hit the ground running.
Gaps in a temp CV – what do they mean?
It’s a common myth that temp workers and contractors are less skilled or under-experienced, but this is rarely the case. Many of these employees have legitimate reasons for gaps in their employment, such as using the time for further education and upskilling. Many also prefer contract work for the flexibility and variety it offers.
This is why it is important to not instantly discard temp role applications just because of a few gaps in their work history.
First, review their CV and cover letter for explanation of any significant period of time in which the applicant was not employed. If there isn’t one, bring it up in the interview – there could well be a compelling reason.
Page Personnel are the experts in providing advice to both temporary workers seeking employment, or businesses looking to take on temp personnel to assist in the running of their company for a short period. Contact Page Personnel today or simply request a call back from one of our recruitment consultants.
When hiring temporary workers, it’s vital you review their CV to ensure:
- They have explanations for gaps in their employment
- They’ve highlighted their transferrable skills
- They’ve spent time to ensure their CV is the best it can be