As many as 15 to 20 million jobs are filled by temp workers at any given time in the US. And long gone are the days when temps only held entry-level and highly generalized positions; today, they perform even the most specialized jobs and take on executive-level roles for companies of all sizes, across all industries.
This is because employers have increasingly caught on to the many compelling reasons to hire temporary workers.
Of course, temp staff isn’t always the right fit. Every business must take a close look at their specific needs at the moment and in the foreseeable future. Temporary help is only one option, along with others like independent contractors, contract-to-hire, and direct-hire part-time or full-time employees.
Below are some of the best reasons to hire temporary workers, which can help you decide whether this is the appropriate route for filling current openings at your organization.
Benefits of Temp Workers
- Fill temporary vacancies without stressing other resources. An employee’s temporary absence (e.g., illness, maternity leave, extended vacation, helping out at another location) may create a need for a defined period. Expecting existing staff to pick up additional responsibilities can tax them, affecting their job performance and satisfaction. Temp workers are often a perfect solution in these situations.
- Respond flexibly and scalably to fluctuating staffing needs. Many companies experience changes in the number and types of employees they need by season, with new or completed projects, and other factors. Hiring temporary workers lets you meet increased demand while avoiding waste when there isn’t enough work to justify the payroll expenditure.
- Evaluate potential permanent employees with no commitment. It’s standard practice to start out with a trial period (often 90 days), but hiring into a permanent position creates expectations and can lead to uncomfortable situations—and concerns about documenting solid reasons for firing. Temp workers can be trialed without these issues, and you can resolve problems easily with a call or email to your staffing agency.
- Keep things moving while you look for the perfect fit for the job. When hiring, it can be difficult to balance the desire to hold out for that one ideal candidate and the need to fill the position. One of the most overlooked reasons to hire temporary workers is to buy time to find, hire, and onboard the right person without letting the work go undone—or be handled by someone whose time and attention should be directed elsewhere.
- Hire help more cost effectively. A staffing agency sends you pre-qualified job candidates, cutting down significantly on your need for in-house interviewing and vetting. This extra layer of professional screening also helps ensure you get the right person for the position. Additionally, temporary workers are often more affordable in terms of salary, because you’re not providing benefits, and because HR/payroll matters are handled by the staffing agency.