As heads of companies and other members of upper level management look to drive down costs and re-evaluate budgets, many are turning to temporary staffing agencies when making any changes to workplace payrolls, according to Forbes.
These firms have seen great success in hiring both temporary and part-time workers and, in turn, the number of part-time employers in the U.S. has ballooned from 4.5 million in 1997 to 8.6 billion today. This alone is a testament to the ability of temp workers, and as more employers use this strategy, more evidence is surfacing that it is a great cost-cutting measure.
The reasoning is simple: temporary employees greatly alleviate pressure on a company's bottom line, but ensure productivity remains at sustainable levels. Following this logic, many companies are seeing a number of new trends that could potentially send labor costs higher as reason to look at temp hiring.
What's driving the rise in temp hiring?
There are several factors at play that are prompting companies to look at temp agencies, but the most prominent include the changes to the healthcare system, a rise in services and a growing workforce of freelancers and "permatemp" employees.
According to the news source, as new healthcare reforms go into effect, several companies will be forced to lower the numbers of full-time, permanent staff to protect themselves from higher healthcare costs. Instead, they'll likely hire temps, who will receive their healthcare coverage from government-backed programs, not corporate healthcare balance sheets.
"By hiring part-time workers who put in less than 30 hours per week, employers can avoid a mandate dictated by the new health reform law: either provide expensive health insurance or pay a fine equal to $2,000 per worker," wrote John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis.
Also, as the economy relies less on manufacturing and more on services, which traditionally favor temp positions, staffing companies are expected to become an even more popular choice. This has also given way to more people diversifying their work experience by signing up for freelance jobs, as opposed to seeking out traditional 9-to-5 jobs.
Getting the most out of temp work
When you go about choosing a temporary staffing company, keep a few factors in mind. To start, make sure you are precise in every conversation you have. Outline a dollar-per-hour range with the staffing firm to make sure you have the funds to find the best employee possible.
It's also crucial to be open with the staffing company and give them insight into your company culture. This will help the recruiter get a feel for the exact hire you're looking for, helping them make the right choice the first time around.
Once you, as a company, feel you've found the ideal candidate, make sure not to dally when it comes to making the hire. Staffing companies are great at weeding out the best and most talented from others who just don't mesh, so once you find a potential worker you love, snatch them up quick. Competition among temporary workers has grown tremendously, so its vital to keep in mind that every strong worker you pluck from the pool of candidates is also one less strong resource your competitors can get their hands on.
Signs of the shift toward temporary workers are everywhere, but the most recent comes from home improvement store Home Depot. According to Dow Jones Business News, the company says it plans to bring on about 80,000 temporary workers this spring - its busiest season of the year.
This marks a rise from the 70,000 temps the company used last year. What's more, major rival Lowe's said it will also use temps to account for higher demand this season, bringing on 45,000 such employees.