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Should Temporary Staff be Trained ?
Human Resources » Training & Education

Chrm Message From: poojasharma Total Posts: 55 Join Date: 14/08/2006
Rank: Manager Post Date: 08/01/2007 01:33:26 Points: 275 Location: United States

Dear friends,

Would like to have inputs from the group, on "Should Temporary Staff be Trained?"

Temporary could be = Causal Workers, Trainees, Leave Replacement Staff etc.
Training could be = Technical, Computer, Soft Skills etc.

For eg: the very word "Temporary" means they are not going to stay long, but still while they are on the job, to do the job effective, some training is necessary for them to be effective on their job.

Will the time/money spent on training this category of people amount to waste or loss to the organisation.

Request the group members and the HR colleagues to share inputs on the same.


Pooja Sharma

Chrm Message From: tesmian Total Posts: 63 Join Date: 14/08/2006  
Rank: Manager Post Date: 08/01/2007 01:46:28 Points: 315 Location: United States

Thank you for initiating a discussion on a subject which, of late, is getting contemporary.

In my view, Training is a value addition to the mankind. Imparting any skills to a human being is a contribution to the society. Moreover, there are hundreds of examples in the Corporate world where the permanent employees also have ungratefully left the organization after getting trained on various skills, at high costs.

Providing training to temporary staff can be a blessing in disguise, because they can take up those positions in the organization, which fall vacant due to attrition ( rampant these days ).


Chrm Message From: abhijeet_rawat Total Posts: 27 Join Date: 14/08/2006  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 08/01/2007 06:08:11 Points: 135 Location: United States

I find tesmian’s response pretty noble and a long-term based approach. It would really be fantastic if every organization thinks and acts in that manner.

I recall here an interesting observation, “What if I train someone and he/she leaves the company?” vis-à-vis “What if I don’t train someone and he/she STAYS?”; we have different problems on hand!!

The stand I would take is something very close to what Lucy has stated. It definitely pays in more than one way to train temporary staff too—pay-offs could be like increased competence, loyalty, productivity etc.

Two more factors to consider would be:

The ‘state’ of the company itself—in terms of financial stability and pipeline density. If these are not healthy, a company may de-prioritize spending on temp staff, quite justifiably. These companies are forced to manage cash and business very tightly.

The Value-system of the Management—short-term focused or long-term focused. There are many companies that has a Value-system to extract (exploit is a very strong word!) maximum out of people, in every transaction; concerned only on numbers like ‘revenue per employee’ etc. These companies, albeit being in a position to afford training, may not do so.

Being a trainer, I am convinced that Training is an investment and not an expense at all. It helps to look at training as a deliberate strategy, tuned with the Vision, than look at it as a bench-time activity or need-based activity.



Chrm Message From: ruchi@hr Total Posts: 41 Join Date: 14/08/2006  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 09/01/2007 01:35:35 Points: 205 Location: United States

I fully subscribe to the views of abhijeet. A phenomenon is a phenomenon, an entity is an entity, irrespective of its being temporary or permanent. More than merely ROI calculations, Training should be seen as an effective empowerment tool. Every one should be given opportunities to add value to himself /herself.

As the adage goes, if we give a fish to a hungry person, we give him merely a one time meal. But if we can train him for fishing, we provide him meals for all his life.

I have a feeling that with such a high awareness and conviction that our HR colleagues have expressed on this subject, time is not far off when the process of "training" might get replaced by "coaching".

Looking forward to views of esteemed colleagues.



Chrm Message From: paulthomas Total Posts: 43 Join Date: 14/08/2006  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 11/01/2007 23:30:10 Points: 215 Location: United States

Hi all,

It's pleasure to be able to go through so many viewpoints on so many many people with the same passion and fervour....

Coming to the's my offense meant...

Rather dramatic..but...says what I really want to..

What if I stop watering my plants, coz the morning dew kills them?
What if stop cleaning my house, coz it will get dirty anyway?
What if I stop savouring the present moment, coz soon it will be the past?
What if...
What if...

I could go on...but the fact exists that the quality of 'today' depends on the training given 'today' to the employee you have 'today'.

Today is the only time I can make a difference !!


Paul Thomas