Best Security Practices When Hiring Temps for the Payroll Department

Last Updated: November 26, 2018
 

Interviewing a Temp

Hiring temps can provide businesses with myriad advantages; In addition to the costs associated with recruiting and hiring employees directly, organizations utilizing temps also have the ability to staff up or down quickly as the demands of the organization change. But what should organizations keep in mind when hiring temps to do work in the payroll department? In addition to basic payroll security best practices, follow these steps.

Follow these security practices when hiring temps to work in your payroll department

You know that the payroll department has access to sensitive information. And while many likely foresee a need for good security practices when hiring temps to work in that department, it is probably even more critical than you realize.

So what is a company looking to hire temps for payroll to do? Luckily, there are clear and practical steps you can follow to keep your company’s (and employees’) information safe.

1. Treat them like you’re hiring a permanent employee

No matter the screening process completed by your staffing agency, when hiring temps, you should still submit them to the same measures that you would a permanent employee. This means that they should undergo background checks, drug testing, reference checks, and interviews. While this onboarding may cut into some of the money saved by hiring temps, the peace of mind in knowing that you are inviting a trustworthy person into the organization is priceless — even if they will only be there temporarily.

2. Do your homework on the temp agency

The staffing agency you choose to partner with when hiring temps should be thoroughly vetted. In addition to legally required licenses, the agency should also have a proven track record of providing high-quality temp workers to reputable companies. Ask questions about their recruiting and screening processes to get insight into what to expect from the agency. Check their rating with the Better Business Bureau.

By discussing some of these items directly with a representative of the temp agency, you also have the opportunity to communicate your company’s values and prioritize the traits (trustworthiness, responsibility, etc.) that are most important to your organization.

3. Check the temp worker’s social media too

After you have thoroughly vetted the agency and temp worker in question, go ahead and check out the worker’s social media presence. This is a simple next step that can reaffirm your confidence in the individual temp worker in question, or to catch any red flags that you might have missed in the initial screening processes. Typically, you will be able to get a better feel for the personality of the individual in question and whether or not you think they have the right demeanor to handle sensitive information appropriately.

4. Avoid hiring temps for positions that require a lot of privileged access

As a general rule, no employee, whether permanent or temporary, should have access to any sensitive information that they do not require to do their job. When hiring temps for the payroll department, speak with the head of the department to determine if there are certain tasks that can be taken on by temps that would free up time for a permanent employee to handle more sensitive information. If a temp needs access to personnel information, ensure that access to those documents is ultimately controlled. In the case of physical documents, the head of the department might keep them under lock and key, giving the temp access as needed. In the case of digital records, be sure to change passwords frequently and communicate closely with the IT department to ensure that it remains secure. A recent article by Computer Weekly explains, for example: “Allowing temporary staff to use their own devices on company networks is particularly risky, as is allowing temporary staff to use assets that are not properly locked down.”

5. Monitor their workstation

Workstation monitoring can take on a lot of forms. Depending on office layout and job functions, it may mean that a permanent manager at the company is able to directly observe temp workers while they are on the job. But technology offers even more options ranging from security cameras to computer monitoring that can further enhance surveillance of temp workers. At a minimum, you should generate daily reports of temp workers’ browser history on their workstation including software, internet browser, company messaging service, email, etc.

6. Have a clear exit strategy for when their term has finished

One benefit to hiring temps is that they are typically told upfront how long they should expect to be working at your company. And while it is nice that you are able to part amicably once their project is wrapped up, there are still steps that need to be taken to ensure payroll security. Create a system for the end of their tenure and communicate it with them during the initial onboarding process.

No matter how great and trustworthy the temp worker is, once they are departing, their access to company assets must be terminated immediately. In addition to removing their access, you may also consider doing a company-wide password reset in case they were given a permanent employee’s login information over the course of their work with your organization.

Hiring temporary workers is a winning strategy for many companies. And, with careful planning and preparation, the advantages of hiring temp workers can even extend to departments like payroll.

This is a guest post by Rene Brofft – rene@pay-tech.com


Angela Stringfellow

Angela Stringfellow is a writer with 10+ years of experience. She focuses on news, trends, and insights in marketing, business, and technology.

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