10 June, 2024
7 Top Skills to Look for When Hiring Temporary Office Support

As businesses across Yorkshire and The Northwest gear up for the busy school holiday period, hiring temporary office support becomes essential to maintain smooth operations. Finding the right temporary staff can be a challenge, but focusing on key skills and attributes can help ensure you bring on board effective and efficient team members. In this post, we explore the top skills to look for when hiring temporary office support, helping you make the best choices while staying compliant with UK employment laws.

Proficiency in Office Software

Proficiency in office software is one of the most critical skills for any office support role. Temporary staff should be adept at using popular programs such as Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Google Workspace, and any industry-specific software your business relies on. This proficiency ensures they can hit the ground running, minimizing the time required for training and allowing them to contribute effectively from day one.

Excellent Time Management

Effective time management is essential for temporary staff who need to balance multiple tasks and deadlines with minimal supervision. Look for candidates who can demonstrate a history of handling various responsibilities efficiently. Good time management skills help ensure that all tasks are completed promptly, which is particularly important during the busy school holiday periods when workloads can be unpredictable.

Strong Communication Skills

Clear and effective communication is crucial for temporary office support roles. This includes both written and verbal communication skills. Temporary staff must be able to understand instructions quickly, convey information clearly to colleagues and clients, and report on their progress accurately. Strong communication skills help avoid misunderstandings and ensure smooth operations, especially when dealing with customer inquiries or internal team interactions.

Adaptability and Flexibility

The ability to adapt quickly to new environments and tasks is essential for temporary staff. They should be able to learn new processes, adjust to different team dynamics, and handle unexpected changes without becoming overwhelmed. Flexibility is particularly important during the school holidays, as the nature of the work and the needs of the business can fluctuate significantly.

Attention to Detail

Accuracy is paramount in any office support role. Temporary staff must demonstrate strong attention to detail to ensure that data entry, document preparation, and other tasks are completed accurately. This reduces the risk of errors that could disrupt business operations or lead to compliance issues. Attention to detail is also crucial when following complex instructions or dealing with sensitive information.

Customer Service Orientation

Temporary office support staff often interact with customers and clients, so a strong customer service orientation is crucial. Look for candidates who are polite, professional, and capable of handling inquiries and issues efficiently. Good customer service skills contribute to a positive impression of your business, even during busy periods. Effective customer service can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth referrals, which are valuable during high-traffic seasons like school holidays.

Teamwork and Collaboration

Although temporary staff may only be with your company for a short period, their ability to work well within a team is vital. They should be able to collaborate with permanent staff, contribute to team goals, and support their colleagues as needed. This fosters a harmonious working environment and ensures that the temporary staff integrate smoothly into your team. Strong teamwork skills also enhance overall productivity and morale.

Legal Compliance in Hiring Temporary Staff

When hiring temporary staff, it’s essential to ensure compliance with UK employment laws. Here are a few key considerations:

  • Right to Work: Verify that all temporary staff have the legal right to work in the UK. This involves checking original documents such as passports or residence permits and keeping copies for your records.
  • National Minimum Wage: Ensure that temporary staff are paid at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW) or National Living Wage (NLW), depending on their age. Be aware of the current rates and apply them correctly.
  • Working Time Regulations: Temporary staff should not work more than 48 hours a week on average, unless they have opted out in writing. They are also entitled to rest breaks and annual leave.
  • Agency Workers Regulations: If hiring through an agency, ensure compliance with the Agency Workers Regulations 2010, which provide for equal treatment of agency workers after a 12-week qualifying period.

Benefits of Using a Recruitment Agency Like Mpeople Recruitment

Navigating these legal requirements and finding the right skills can be challenging. Partnering with a recruitment agency like Mpeople Recruitment offers significant advantages:

  • Compliance Assurance: Mpeople Recruitment ensures all legal requirements are met, from verifying the right to work to adhering to the Agency Workers Regulations 2010.
  • Expertise in Recruitment: Our team excels at identifying candidates with the necessary skills and attributes for temporary office support roles.
  • Payroll Management: We handle all payroll responsibilities, including tax and National Insurance contributions, simplifying the administrative burden for your business.


Hiring temporary office support during the school holidays is a practical solution for businesses in Yorkshire looking to maintain productivity and efficiency. By focusing on key skills such as proficiency in office software, time management, communication, adaptability, attention to detail, customer service, and teamwork, you can ensure that your temporary staff are capable and effective.

Partnering with a recruitment agency like Mpeople Recruitment can further streamline the process, ensuring compliance with UK employment laws and relieving you of administrative burdens. This allows you to focus on your core business operations while we handle the complexities of temporary staffing.

For employers, understanding the top skills for temporary office support and leveraging the expertise of a recruitment agency can make all the difference during the busy school holiday period.


Written By: Lisa Emsley-Jones

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