Amid a murky jobs background, the temporary staffing sector has been very impressive, and has helped drive employment gains during the recovery. However, that temporary status may not be as short-lived as it once was, as companies are holding onto their temps for longer periods, and are even turning to staffing agencies to fill high-ranking positions.
According to NPR, an average of 2.5 million temporary workers were employed everyday in the first quarter of 2012, compared with 2.1 million in the same period in 2009. According to the American Staffing Association, temporary work levels were at one time one of the most accurate indicators for future permanent jobs growth. It served as a gauge of how many people were actively looking for employment. However, during the recovery, staffing agencies say the way in which hiring managers go about finding new workers has changed.
In the past, temp workers have typically been linked with clerical and manufacturing positions, the media outlet stated. But even that is beginning to change during the recovery, with high-skilled work taking on a bigger portion of the amount of temporary jobs that are reported. These include jobs in engineering, information technology, pharmaceuticals and accounting and finance.
According to the news provider, a growing number of firms are even using temporary staffing services to fill higher-ranking jobs, with professional positions making up as much as 50 percent of some agencies' clients.
Ed Schultz has acted as the chief financial officer for a number of companies in the last 10 years, going from company to company performing work during a finite period, but offering his expertise as needed. To Schultz, this may even be the future of C-Suite jobs.
"My feeling is that it's a permanent change," Schultz says. "It's a sea change that we're seeing more activity in that interim C-suite area."
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the professional and business services industries, which include temporary staffing, grew by 47,000 jobs in June, 25,000 of which were temporary staffing positions.