Hiring Temp Employees – A Solution to Uncertain Market Conditions
American businesses are no strangers, to the crisis but there has been nothing in recent history that compares to the challenges they face in 2020. A global pandemic has threatened every American. The disjointed response to COVID19 has resulted in a jumble of state mandates determining what businesses will remain open and under what conditions. Supply chains have been significantly disrupted. Scarcity is driving prices up, and to top it off, Americans face a continuous national election that could dramatically change the rules of the marketplace.
So, how does a business survive in this ever-changing environment? Agility, flexibility, strong financial controls, and a willingness to adapt to new challenges are essential to come out on the other side of the pandemic.
While COVID19, like influenza, may never go away entirely, an effective vaccination program can at least control it. But even then, the business will be facing unsure conditions and the need for agility and flexibility in operations will still be paramount.
Contracted temporary workers are an effective way to meet the fluid business demands that are sure to remain for several years.
Temp Employees – Expanding Capacity to Meet Demand Without Expanding Employer Liability
The American Staffing Association reports that roughly 3 million temp employees are provided by the nation’s staffing agencies each week. It’s important to understand that the “face” of temp employees has undergone a dynamic change over the years. For decades “temps” were typically lower-skilled clerks, administrative assistants, and predominantly women. Today, it is a whole new world.
Today, many workers find the flexibility and control that temping offers, very attractive. That includes:
- Attorneys who specialize in a specific area of the law.
- Healthcare specialists including doctors, PAs, nurses, and technicians
- Senior financial leaders like CFOs who specialize in startups
- IT talent
- Help desk technicians
There are, of course, a host of other temp worker classifications available to augment a company’s core functions or provide services not indigenous to the business, like security guards, janitorial, fire life safety technicians, etc.
Research firm LiveArea reports that 28% of all businesses are contemplating outsourcing over insourcing. Hiring temporary workers is a viable business solution to survive the uncertainty of the pandemic and beyond.
Hiring Temps – Bringing Agility and Expanded Value to the Game
The hiring of temp employees is nothing new. American staffing agencies have been offering temp services since 1948 when the first Kelly Girls office opened. Pharmaceutical entrepreneur and owner of the Kansas City Royals, Ewing Kauffman, built Marion Labs around a model that required each department to use temporary employees to fill fully a third of the department’s slots.
Further, he required the staffing agencies to pay the temp workers the same base wage as full-time Marion employees. Marion employees (associates) received “uncommon” benefits, not the least of which was a guarantee they would never be laid off (a huge benefit in a city that experienced massive layoffs from the steel and automotive industries). Because of the cost of Marion’s uncommon permanent employee benefits, the company realized net savings using temp workers rather than full-time associates.
The net result of Kauffman’s temporary worker business plan included: <h3>
- Agility. Using an outside staffing agency allowed Marion to quickly and easily respond to a surge in sales creating an urgent need for production and other workers. Likewise, when the surge receded, Marion could trim the staffing without affecting any full-time employees.
- Time and money saved. Shifting hiring to an outside agency typically speeds up the hiring process and minimizes the time and resources used by HR. In addition, the company was able to maintain a higher total headcount without increasing the total payroll used to calculate workman compensation premiums. Likewise, there is no increase in unemployment liability as temporary workers are employees of the agency.
- Increased company morale and employee loyalty. Kauffman frequently celebrated the work of the associates with outings and awards dinners for each department. He ensured that temporary workers in those departments were included in these activities. Employees and temps viewed each other as colleagues rather than “permanent” and “temporary” workers. Leadership encouraged Kauffman’s policy of inclusion resulting in a strong and loyal Team Marion.
- Ready source of permanent talent. As Marion’s business expanded and the need to expand the permanent staffing. It was a simple matter of making a job offer to a temp employee who had been performing the task for months. The staffing agency became responsible for any backfilling required. </h3>
While the Marion story took place during “normal” times, Kauffman’s model is even more relevant in these uncertain times.
If you are tap-dancing to retain existing customers and expand the new business but you are unsure about pulling the trigger to get the talent you need, temp employees can bring the skills you need to establish stability and promote growth.
Finding the Right Source for Temp Hires
Integrating temp hires into your business model is significantly more involved than the traditional hiring of a temp to fill in for a vacation or an employee calling off sick. You need to identify strong resources that are capable and willing to become true partners in achieving your company’s objectives. Finding those resources is the key to being able to fully benefit from a temp-hire program.
It is unlikely that you will be able to obtain all your temp-hire needs from a single source. Many staffing agencies focus on specific industries or disciplines. Innovo Staffing specializes in financial and accounting talent from CFOs to accounting clerks. Other agencies focus on IT or sales and marketing or a host of other occupations. There are agencies that provide temporary healthcare professionals. Light industrial agencies can offer skilled workers like machinists, welders, and CNC operators as well as line personnel such as packers and assemblers.
In most urban areas you can find a provider for nearly every type of talent you need. But just identifying the source does not mean it is the optimal solution.
What you need from a temp-hire partner is:
- Total buy-in. You are not just buying a service. You need a partner who will totally buy into your business model. One who is willing to act as your hiring agent utilizing your standards for experience levels, backgrounds, pay, and most importantly culture. They won’t be replacing your HR function; they will be augmenting it providing staffing flexibility more efficiently than can be accomplished inhouse.
- Capable. This is not the time for generalists. You want partners who have recruiters experienced in the field you need. They have to have processes that can achieve your talent qualification requirements. And in this time of burgeoning remote workers, they need the technology to accomplish virtual recruiting.
- Transparency. You are both going to profit from this enterprise. You want a partner you can trust explicitly. In return, you have to share your plans, concerns, and expectations freely.
The selection of your temp-hire resource(s) is key to implementing your temp worker strategy. The right partner will result in your firm experiencing the agility and efficiency you need to compete in this new environment.
If your needs include financial or accounting talent, contact us at Innovo and we will be happy to demonstrate what we mean.