From Day One to Day Won: Creating A Great First Day For Temporary Workers

manufacturing workers smiling and shaking hands on first day

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Remember your first day on a new job? The nerves, the excitement, the barrage of information, the curious stares from coworkers. It’s a lot to take in.

This is especially true for your temporary team members who jump into new assignments more often. It’s like the first day of school all over again, but in a completely unfamiliar (and huge) industrial building with a big neon sign above your head flashing “I’M NEW HERE!”

Now imagine your first day with a whole lot of uncertainty and confusion mixed in: You don’t know where to park (do I use employee parking?), where to enter (should I use the main entrance or one of the numerous unmarked facility side doors?), or who you’re meeting with (what department did they assign me to again?).

Talk about frustrating.

A recent Bamboo HR survey found that new employees’ top complaints with onboarding included a lack of direction and training. Some of the biggest offenders were:

  • No clear points of contact for questions (65%)
  • Not enough training on company products/services (62%)
  • Not having a single person acting as an onboarding guide (50%)
  • No clear manager (44%)
download the new hire first day checklist
group of new and confused industrial temps crowded around a computer screen

Minimal direction and communication is bound to cause dissatisfaction for both the temporary employee and management. This can quickly lead to decreased productivity, low morale, walk-offs and increased turnover — even fraud.

We call it First Day Confusion, and unfortunately it’s an all-too-familiar experience for many companies who use staffing agencies to scale their manufacturing and industrial workforce. While your staffing partner should thoroughly prepare talent for their first day, your company has an important role to play, too.

That’s exactly why we’re breaking down how to eliminate first day confusion for your temporary workers and create a positive experience for everyone involved. Because it’s not just about making a good first impression; it’s about laying a foundation for success from the get-go.

Why A Great First Day Matters

Nearly three million temporary employees work for America’s staffing companies during an average week, with the most (36%) working in the Industrial sector. That’s a lot of first days and first impressions.

Will the first day of their temp assignment be a great day, or will it be like herding cats for your hiring manager?

temporary employees talking to supervisor on first day

Think back to your best first day ever. What made it stand out? Chances are, it was the warm welcome, the clear directions, and an immediate sense of belonging.

It’s no different for temporary workers. Even on a temp assignment, a great first day is more than just a nicety — it’s a game-changer for retention, satisfaction, and productivity.

Let’s dive into why setting the stage right from Day One can make all the difference, and how you can replicate that feeling for every new associate that your staffing partner sends your way.

A Great First Day Starts Long Before Someone Starts Working

Setting temporary workers up for success begins before they even step through your door, and it hinges on your employer brand and recruiting process.

male and female colleague discussing employer brand

Employer Brand

It’s important to attract the right candidates to your company, and a lot of that begins with your employer brand. What steps are you taking to be viewed as an employer of choice in the labor market?

Think about how you demonstrate the following:

  • Core values: what values drive your company and its workforce?
  • Employee satisfaction: Are your employees happy and do they feel valued?
  • Employer reputation: What picture do employee reviews paint on Indeed, Glassdoor, and Google?
  • Industry trends: Understanding industry trends and workforce preferences can attract more candidates.
  • Community involvement: How do you give back to the communities you serve? What organizations do you support that make your employees feel proud to be part of?

Recruiting Process

What does your staffing partner’s recruiting strategy look like? Is it purposeful and effective, or is it first come, first serve with a lot of unqualified candidates?

From choosing the right candidates to preparing them for what to expect on day one, every step matters.

Recruiting with a purpose looks like this:

  • A strong vetting process (quality over quantity wins every time)
  • Conducting interviews and necessary skill tests
  • Performing drug and background checks
  • Ensuring candidates are authorized to work in the United States through e-Verify
  • Clear, ongoing communication at every stage of the hiring process

A recruiting process is so much more than filling a position. It’s about understanding what makes someone a good fit for your company, and how they can be supported from the moment they apply to when they accept the job offer — and beyond.

group of laughing coworkers

First Day Best Practices For Your Temporary Staff

When you prepare, energize, and send every new temporary employee with holistic intention, First Day Confusion is a thing of the past.

By focusing on clear communication and thorough preparation, you can dispel any first-day jitters and pave the way for a productive and positive start.

Let’s explore best practices for each stage.

download the new hire first day checklist


Preparation is crucial for any successful endeavor — welcoming temporary personnel is no exception.

The goal here is twofold: to arm your new hires with all the information they need for a stellar start and to make sure they feel supported from the moment they decide to join your team.

Plan to work closely with your staffing partner during this phase so they can adequately prepare the worker with the right information.

Staffing Partner Preparation should include:

  • Company-specific information
  • Detailed job description
  • Facility tours or detailed pictures that include parking and entry points
  • First-day agenda and expectations (schedule, who to report to, who to contact with questions)
  • Required paperwork
  • Orientation and training tailored to their assigned role
  • Discuss relevant compliance and safety protocols
  • Dress code and PPE requirements
  • How to record their hours
  • An accessible recruiter (how the worker can reach their recruiter at any time)
  • Frequent check-ins

Company Preparation should include:

  • Frequent contact with staffing provider to confirm start dates, final schedules, role assignments, and answer any last minute questions
  • Assigning a mentor or job-buddy for the temporary worker to shadow and bond with
  • Designing a progressive training schedule to ease the transition to your company

Equipped with this knowledge, temporary personnel can navigate their new environment with confidence, backed by the assurance that they’re not just filling a position — they’re an integral part of the team.

recruiter texting candidate


The period leading up to the first day is critical for building enthusiasm and ensuring a smooth transition. Leveraging automated technology allows for real-time updates, reminders, and timely conversations.

For candidates, the energize phase is a way to ensure that they are mentally and emotionally ready to hit the ground running. This is done by:

  • summarizing first day expectations
  • answering any lingering questions, and
  • reiterating how excited your company is for their assignment to begin

For hiring managers, it’s also an important touchpoint with your staffing provider to make sure expectations are in alignment and all parties are on the same page.


The first day for any new job can be daunting, but luckily you have the power to make it great for your new hires. With proper preparation and being fully energized, temporary workers are sent to their first day with a positive attitude and clear understanding of their responsibilities.

From the moment they arrive to after their shift ends, this is an opportunity to send the message that your company is glad to have them and is committed to their success and well-being. Use this checklist as a guide to ensure they feel welcomed, informed, and supported.

First Day Arrival Check-In:

  • A friendly smile
  • A facility tour, including time clock location, restrooms, break rooms
  • Explain the process for their first day and first week
  • Meet their co-workers and mentor
  • Integration with the team (don’t separate temporary workers from your regular workforce)
  • Discuss any specific practices or rituals that will help integrate them into the team
  • Frequent check-ins

Additionally, your staffing partner should check-in with your temporary personnel before, during, and after their shift, using their feedback to enhance the onboarding process.

At the end of the day (quite literally), your goal is to send them home ready to return tomorrow and with only one worry: how do I look in these safety glasses?

three smiling temporary employees on first day

Turning a Great First Day into a Great Future

And there you have it — your roadmap to a first-rate first day for temporary personnel. By applying these strategies, you’ll create a positive perception of their entire onboarding experience and have a team member who feels valued and prepared.

Not only that, your staffing agency partnership will be even stronger as you work in tandem to create a successful hiring and onboarding process that increases retention.

The guidance provided in this article is just the beginning of a journey towards building a productive temporary workforce. For more recruitment and staffing resources designed for industrial, manufacturing and warehouse employers, join our resource hub.

download the new hire first day checklist

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Hire a fully charged workforce!

We’ll provide the right temp, temp-to-hire, or direct-hire candidates that align with your company quickly and efficiently.