Happy New Year readers and welcome to 2012!
There are many misconceptions about temporary, or contract, staffing. Here are the six most common myths and why they are not true.
1. Temps aren’t as important to a company as regular employees.
This myth probably came from the early days of temporary staffing when companies used temporary employees to fill in for clerical workforce gaps. “Temps” were brought on when regular employees were out for an extended period of time for a variety of reasons including vacation, medical, maternity leave, etc. And while this is still a common use of temporary employees, temporary staffing has taken on a much broader and more strategic purpose.
Companies now use temporary or contract employees as a way to make themselves more competitive. And its not just for administrative or clerical work. Temporary workers are typically deployed across every department of a company including accounting, IT, engineering, marketing, HR and just about any other department you can think of. It not only offers flexibility, but a quick way to find an deploy necessary skill sets across a company, making temporary employees a vital part of any companies success.
2. Temps aren’t committed to a company the way regular employees are.
This is simply not true and potentially an insult to the millions of temporary employees across the world. Individuals choose temporary jobs for a variety of reasons. They may be trying to get their foot in the door of a particular company. They may like the flexibility of periodically moving from one company to another. Or they may like the pay, which is often more then a regular worker.
There are many reasons people choose temporary work, but lack of commitment to the success of a company is not one of them. In fact, temporary employees are often more motivated and committed to success because they are always having to prove themselves to ensure job security.
3. Temporary staffing firms try to prevent workers from getting permanent jobs.
Just the opposite is true. While it is true that staffing firms make money for each hour a temporary employee works, having a worker accept a permanent job means the staffing firm has a champion for their service within that company. This is often much more valuable in the long run.
4. Temporary jobs aren’t “real” jobs.
A temporary job is simply another form of a job. It is neither more or less real then a “permanent” job. All jobs within a company are important, otherwise they wouldn’t exist. It is also important to note that no job is permanent, even if it is referred to as a “permanent” job.
5. Temporary jobs don’t have benefits.
Not necessarily true. Depending on the staffing firm and the staffing firm’s individual clients, the varieties of benefits available to employees are just like “real” company benefits including: direct deposit, holiday, medical/dental, employee referral bonuses and 401K benefits. Typically, the benefits offered are negotiated between the staffing firm and the client company at the onset of their business relationship.
6. Temporary work is low level work.
Temporary work has evolved over the years. In fact, the fastest growth is occurring in the professional and IT occupations as both businesses and professionals from all backgrounds are realizing the benefits of greater flexibility. High level professionals have embraced the lifestyle because it offers challenging, diverse assignments with highly competitive compensation. Companies have come to realize they can easily gain access to highly skilled professionals who can provide much needed expertise for short and long-term projects.
VMS and MSP are acronyms that have changed the staffing industry landscape significantly over the past decade and, for better or worse, they are here to stay. I say “better or worse” because my own experiences have sometimes been mixed and I believe, based on anecdotal evidence and published industry analysis, that this is the case for other firms and our clients as well. Good software and well run programs that are embraced by hiring managers can improve efficiency and results while reducing costs. Bad programs range from ineffective to costly; if your systems are complex and cumbersome and your processes are too restrictive and inflexible, managers may grudgingly comply until they find ways around it. Efficiencies will be ephemeral and cost savings short-lived.
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