Trying out temps for the right position

10.22.2012


Trying out temps for the right position
Trying out temps for the right position

Companies often have hiring down to a science, and can tell immediately if a temporary employee is going to fit in well with the company. There are a number of ways employers can evaluate temp workers, particularly when considering these individuals for permanent positions down the line, Tulsa World reports.

"It's just an easier way to try somebody out," said Susanne Braddy, human resources manager at manufacturing company APSCO. "When you hire them direct, it's a bigger commitment for us and then we could end up with somebody we have to let go of."

Many times, employers will offer temp jobs to candidates before offering them a full time position, while others bring the additional help on to increase workforce flexibility or simply to complete a project that is labor intensive, according to the news source. But no matter what the reason, an increase in temporary hiring usually bodes well for the economy, and precedes overall job growth.

Higher demand
Temporary employment peaked in 2006, when nearly 2.7 million temps were a part of the U.S. workforce, however the economic downturn lowered this number by as much as one-third. But after the drop off, the industry has recovered 87 percent of the workers it lost in the recession, and this growth is continuing steadily.

Bob Ball, economic research manager for the Tulsa Metro Chamber, said in Tulsa, the economy has seen a strong recovery in the last 18 months, which was in line with an improved temporary hiring landscape. Ball stated that in August, the region had 113,200 temp workers, a 4.8 percent jump compared with the same month last year. On the month, the sector added 200 jobs - a 1.5 percent increase.

"When [temp jobs] continue to be strong, as they are now, it means that there are more permanent jobs to be filled," Ball said.

Making the decision
According to the news provider, companies are beginning to bring on temps for a multitude of reasons. For manufacturers, an influx of orders may be enough spur hiring, while other businesses may choose the services of a temporary staffing agency to offset higher costs associated with the slow recovery.

The potential fiscal cliff, tax uncertainty and the new healthcare legislature are all making an impact on employers, and driving them toward temps. One hiring expert in Tulsa stated that as companies add overhead jobs, its a sign their confidence is improving.

"The last thing you add is overhead," he said. "You've got to feel you're on track."

For APSCO, the greatest benefit of temporary employment has been the added flexibility. The firm typically places temps as machinists, assemblers or shipping clerks for about three months, but knows in about one month if the employee is someone who could be hired full time.

Braddy stated that she expects sales to grow once the new year arrives and the election is over, and so too will demand for workers.

"We need these people trained and ready to go," she said.

Oklahoma, along with other Southern and Southwestern states like Texas, has had a comparatively healthy recovery period, after feeling less effects from the initial recession. Currently, Oklahoma's unemployment rate - 5.2 percent - is well below the national average of 7.8 percent.