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Ensuring Temporary Worker Satisfaction

In a recent survey conducted by Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), temporary workers noted six key items they wished their staffing firms had told them before their assignment:

  • Character of job – incorrect description of the job/not enough details provided
  • Culture/management/operation – undisclosed workplace issues, including high-staff turnover, disorganization, financial instability, and high pressure
  • Logistics/dress code – insufficient information on parking dress codes, neighborhoods, and cost of living
  • Perm changes/assignment length – misrepresentation regarding chance of a permanent job/assignment lengths
  • Terms of employment – poor communication surrounding hours, location or work, and benefits
  • Training/tools – inadequate orientation, unmet expectations for training, and failure to convey the need for personal equipment (i.e. workers needing to bring their own computers)

As the liaison between your clients and contract workers, it’s imperative that as a staffing firms, you recognize this feedback and see where you can improve your current system for placing workers. Here are a few tips on how to address the concerns noted above, and ultimately, ensure temporary worker satisfaction.

Listen to Them

A good way to gage any pain points temporary workers might be experiencing at your firm is by simply asking them. To gather this information, consider creating a survey to send out to a worker once they’ve completed an assignment to see what went well (on your end and the client’s), and what needs improvement. Provide both rating scale questions (1-5) and places for open-ended responses to gather a variety of data.

Not every worker will respond, but if you send it out to a large enough population, you should be able to gather a solid data pool. From there, look for trends in responses to help address specific issues your workers are facing.

Ask Clients the Right Types of Questions

We all know how busy hiring managers are, but to ensure that your clients and temporary workers are best aligned, it’s important to ask the right questions about the company, the position, overall work environment, training, and terms of employment.

For example, instead of just taking a job description at face-value, read it over and jot down any questions you might have, and note places where descriptions aren’t clear. Then, go back and ask the hiring manager to provide any clarification you might need, and try and get to the root of what type of candidate is needed to fill the role. Not only will this help you identify the type of talent your client is looking for, but it will also help you better convey pertinent info to your temporary workers.


In most cases (including the major issues highlighted via SIA’s survey), clear and open communication can work to circumvent issues. When speaking to hiring managers, take detailed notes that you can go back and share with potential candidates. Touch base frequently to show temporary workers you’re engaged and invested in the process, and be as transparent as possible about job requirements, expectations, logistics, pay rates, benefits, length of assignment, etc.

Furthermore, stretching the truth just to place a temporary worker or fill a difficult role can not only serve to hurt your reputation, but could also put both your client and the temporary worker in a compromising situation.

Ultimately, taking into account what matters most to temporary workers and actively making strides toward meeting those needs can only serve to positively impacts your clients and your business. While you won’t be able to change everything or please everyone, as a staffing firm, it’s important you note the crucial role you play in the personal and professional lives of temporary workers—so make every placement count!

Source: Staffing Industry Analysts, “Temporary Worker Survey 2018 & Cumulative Index to 2012-2017 Surveys.”

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