There is a rise in hiring expert temporary employees among U.S. businesses. Temporary employees can be seasonal or contract. According to AmericanStaffing.net, “More than three million temporary and contract employees work for America’s staffing companies during an average week. During the course of a year, America’s staffing companies hire more than 14 million temporary and contract employees.”
The reason for this positive trend is that there are many advantages to temporary staffing for both employees and employers. The idea appeals to business owners because it gives them a chance to hire quickly, including getting expert workers. It also appeals to workers because it gives them a chance to find quicker employment than through regular job hunting methods.
A Win-Win Situation
All things considered, temporary hiring creates a win-win situation for everyone.
From the employee’s perspective, temporary staffing agencies give them an opportunity to get full-time employment.
- 76% of temps get a chance to work full-time.
- 49% of temps say that they think it is the best way to move into a full-time position in the current job market.
- Nine out 10 of temps say that it made them more eligible to enter the job market.
- One third of the temps were offered a permanent job by the client.
For small business owner, the arrangement also worked to their advantage:
- They found the right experts for their projects at short notice.
- They were able to select people they wanted on a full-time basis based on observed experience on the job rather than relying on a resume and interview before signing someone up.
- They were able to hire the right people even when they were not yet financially able to hire full-time people.
- They were able to rely on staffing companies like Kelly Services to handle all the complexities of outsourced healthcare business services, which includes specialized talent such as Health Informatics and Legal Nurse Consulting.
When to Hire Short-Term Employees
When does it make more sense to hire someone for the short term rather than to have someone come on permanently?
Here are a few of the most common scenarios when employers found it better to hire a short-term worker:
- The small business had a permanent employee who needed to leave for an extended time before resuming their position. This could happen if there was a need for maternity or paternity leave. Other circumstances might be a family emergency, a sabbatical, or a serious illness.
- The small business needed an expert—e.g., an IT professional, doctor, or lawyer—for a single project that had a set timeline.
- The small business had not had much luck with finding the right person through traditional hiring or recruiting practices and was looking to test someone on the job before hiring them permanently.
- The small business was a seasonal one and only needed more staff during a busy season.
The Right Resources at the Right Time
Often the need for a temporary employee can be quite sudden: a permanent employee may be fired, quit the job, or require a long leave of absence. This leaves a gap that needs to be filled right away. The longer it takes to find someone, the more a company may experience financial loss. Since it may take time to hire a qualified employee, the fastest solution is to find a temporary employee through a staffing agency.
While it is possible for a company to hire a temporary employee without going through a staffing agency, there are two problems with this approach:
- First, there may be no system in place to track hours, control expenses, or evaluate employee performance.
- Second, there may be no system in place to comply with security, financial, and legal risks.
A staffing agency has the knowledge, experience, and resources to handle these two concerns. As a third-party employer, it can take care of employee performance and labor law compliance needs.
Finding the Right Person Fast
In an article about “Staffing Your Office in a Complex Environment,” consultant Duane Quinn, offers the following advice to find the right person quickly:
“By a detailed description of your needs, you assist the agency in sorting among their staff for you. The agency is able to review your needs and compare them to the strengths of the personnel they have available to them. The agency is able to narrow down potential temporary staff who are best able to fill the needs which you have specified. In many cases, an agency can provide you with the precise expertise you are looking for and that you have not been able to find on your own, and at the time when you need it.”
The Complexity of Labor Laws
There are numerous labor laws that an employer must be aware of when hiring temporary help. While things like health insurance and paid leaves are not applicable to hiring a temporary worker, there are many other issues that an employer has to know.
These include laws around:
- Workplace safety
- Minimum wage
- Overtime pay
- Workers compensation
- Social Security
- Federal tax withholdings
Adding to this complexity is that these requirements vary from one state to the next. Businesses must also have the know-how to handle issues related to properly filling out employee paperwork for payroll, benefits, and taxation.