Your Dream Candidate May Be the Temp Right in Front of You

Two in Five CFOs Use Temporary Assignments to Evaluate Potential Hires

TORONTO, Oct. 15, 2015 /CNW/ - A "working interview" may be the key to your next successful hire. Two in five (44 per cent) chief financial officers (CFOs) polled in a recent Accountemps survey said having a candidate work on a temporary basis initially provides the greatest insight into whether he or she will be a good fit with the company culture. CFOs also cited asking open-ended interview questions (28 per cent) and checking references (26 per cent) as effective ways to gauge someone's potential fit with the work environment.

CFOs were asked, "In your opinion, which one of the following provides the greatest insight into a job candidate's potential fit with the corporate culture?" Their responses: 

Having the candidate work on a temporary basis initially


Asking open-ended interview questions


Checking references 


Having the candidate attend a group lunch or social activity



"How well a new employee will blend with a company's existing culture is difficult to assess in an interview alone," said Dianne Hunnam-Jones, Canadian president of Accountemps. "Allowing time to evaluate fit before hiring for a full-time position can prevent quick turnover and costly hiring mistakes down the line."

"Having applicants come in on a temporary basis allows organizations the opportunity to assess a potential employee's collaborative work style and overall fit before making the decision to bring them on permanently," added Hunnam-Jones. "It also gives professionals the chance to decide whether the company culture and working environment is one in which they'd be comfortable long-term."

Accountemps offers five tips for companies that are considering testing out potential new hires through temporary work: 

  1. Partner with a staffing firm. Let your recruiter know immediately if an assignment has the potential to become a permanent position, and clearly outline the responsibilities of the job and key aspects of your workplace culture. That way, your staffing firm can search for appropriate candidates who will be able to commit to a permanent position, if offered.
  2. Let them know what success looks like. You can't make a fair assessment of a temporary professional's performance if he or she doesn't understand what is expected. Give adequate direction, including project details and deadlines as well as company norms, like employee communication preferences.
  3. Give challenging assignments. Provide interim employees with projects of varying degrees of difficulty. Pair them with key members of your team and seek staff feedback on how the temporary workers performed and collaborated with others.
  4. Bring them into the fold. Invite temporary professionals to the same meetings, team lunches and events everyone else attends. Make sure they receive emails and other communication about company news. Remember, they're evaluating your firm as much as you're evaluating them.  
  5. Keep in touch. Regularly check in with temporary employees to answer questions, seek feedback and gauge how things are going with the assignment. If you want to make a full-time employment offer, alert your staffing firm to coordinate details.

About the Research
The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in the top Canadian markets.

About Accountemps
Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has more than 340 offices worldwide. More resources, including online job search services, can be found at Follow the Accountemps blog and @RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter for additional workplace news and hiring trends.

SOURCE Accountemps

For further information: Naz Araghian, 416.865.2140,

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890