At some point, your business may need extra help, either because of an employee’s extended absence or because of an increase in work. Using the services of temporary workers can be a lifesaver when you’re in a bind, but keeping up with what they’re doing isn’t always a joy. To improve your experience, consider these tips for managing temporary staff before hiring your next temp.

Tip 1: Get what you need

Make sure that the staffing agency you are working with sends you their most qualified help and not just the first person on their list of available workers. You can help them by being very specific when describing your requirements. If your temp is a good match with your needs, it will be a more successful experience for both of you.

Tip 2: Define tasks for temporary staff

One of the primary issues with managing temporary staff is that you’re busy and they don’t always know what to do. If you need someone to answer phones for your office and greet clients, almost anyone with a little reception experience could pick up what you need in under an hour. If you need someone to provide more in-depth secretarial or warehouse assistance though, that could require a little extra ramp-up time.

To minimize the amount of questions you receive from temporary staff, it’s wise to have documentation available on the various job functions of your company. If the need for temporary help took you by surprise, you may not have time to put anything like that together. Instead, spending a block of time with your temporary first thing in the morning will cut back on the questions throughout the day.

Tip 3: Delegate the management of temporary staff

Another potential issue is that you may not have enough time for managing temporary staff. This is why effective delegation of management responsibilities is critical.

Unless you’re a one-man show, there’s someone else in your office who can take over managing temporary staff. This is especially important to work out in advance of your temp’s arrival if you’ll be out of the office or otherwise unable to meet with them yourself. Delegating this task can also help you get more done when your temporary will need to be given more work throughout the day.

Tip 4: Keep your expectations reasonable

The key to maintaining your sanity while managing temporary staff is to stay objective about their contributions to the company. Will a temporary worker be as effective as a seasoned employee? Probably not, but they should be capable of somewhat lessening the load on you and your existing staff.