Along with almost everything we thought we knew about the nature of work, the perception of temporary employment is changing. Once considered only when companies were unsure of future growth or the duration of needs, temporary staffing has revved up in recent months and years.
Growth in Temp Staffing
According to ClearOnMoney.com, trends show a large increase in the number of temporary employment positions compared to those of permanent non-farm employment positions. Permanent positions are predicted to follow this trend later this year. Employers are using temps more efficiently both during the downturn and, now, on the upswing of the recession.
Whether you refer to them as project workers, temporary staff, or contractors, one thing is universal - an increasing number of companies are adopting them for a broader range of positions.
Gone are the days when low-skill manual labor or mundane clerical tasks were relegated to the lowly temp, while high tech, mission critical consultative work was handled by the revered contractor. The distinction between these two is blurring. The bottom line is that companies need short-term help and job seekers need short-term work.
Companies Benefit from Temps
There are a number of reasons why temporary or project staffing works well for a company. Here are some scenarios:
- Companies can staff up during booms in the business cycle.
- New product launches can be supported by increasing sales staff for a temporary period of time to increase outreach.
- Bringing on a temporary project manager to conduct a website enhancement might be a more efficient move, allowing regular staff to focus on operational needs.
- Long before it was a trend, the accounting industry has been using temporary staff during their annual busy tax season, utilizing administrative positions to CPAs on a temporary basis.
- Organizations can save time and money when it comes to the payroll issues that are inherent with increased staff.
Job Seekers Gain, Too
What's good for the goose, is also good for the gander. Candidates between jobs benefit from temporary work in many ways, including:
- Keeping their skills sharp by working in their industry on project assignments
- Expanding their horizons and discovering new careers by experiencing a variety of tasks and work climates
- Trying something new and adventurous - especially good for those "gypsy" spirited among us, who simply enjoy the idea of change every few months or years and who enjoy the freedom of not being tied to a permanent position
With increased specialization across industries, temporary staffing allows companies the flexibility they need while providing candidates with the experience they crave - a definite win-win for all involved.