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 Temporary Employment Agencies and the Current Economy

By Joe Stein

With the economy still in the midst of our economic downturn, many Job Seekers are finding the quantity of “regular” positions to be limited. The alternative is to try something that you may have attempted to avoid in the past…reaching out to a Temporary Employment Agency. There are still some Job Seekers who feel that there is a stigma to being a temporary employee. The reality is that the temporary employee industry has been around quite awhile now and have all but eliminated any stigma.
Temporary positions not only become a more viable option during down times, but they can even serve as an indicator of an economic recovery. This is because many employers will start first with hiring temporary employees before committing to regular hires.   A quick examination of wnyjobs.com reveals many actual positions where the recruitment is being done by an agency and a short stay on the agencies payroll may be necessary.
So, now is a good time to dive deeper and take a hard look into using a Temporary Employment Agency.
There are a number of reasons companies use Temporary Employment Agencies:
·        Short-Term Labor – There are some positions that truly are only temporary or seasonal. This is especially true with companies who experience spikes in their business.
·        Quick Access to Labor – Temporary Agencies can generally (unless it is a large order) have labor to a work site in a matter of a day or two. If a company underestimated the labor needed to complete a job, then this is most useful.
·        Create an Evaluation Period – Using a Temporary Employment Agency can provide an employer with a couple of months to evaluate a person prior to hiring them onto their payroll and making a commitment to him or her. This reason spikes during an economic downturn as employers become more hesitant to jump into a commitment.
·        Economy Hedge – As mentioned above, there is a reduced investment by employers in a temporary employee. When an employer is beginning to see an increased demand for their product or service but is not sure whether it will be sustained, then going the temporary route is a smart move for them.
Why should you consider using an employment agency? Let’s highlight a few of the main reasons why this avenue could prove fruitful for you.
·      Gain Valuable Experience - How many times have you heard of the statement “If only you had more/some experience”? Staffing Professionals can be as risk averse as any human being. It is usually more difficult to sell a less seasoned individual to a hiring supervisor. When a staffing professional has many position requisitions, the time to “sell a candidate” may be minimal. Also, what staffing professional wants to assume the ramifications of placing a “risky hire” on the payroll? What is the solution to this dilemma?   Many companies will “temp to hire” in order to give an individual the opportunity to prove themselves before being placed on the actual company payroll. This can be the perfect opportunity for someone who would like to change fields or is simply starting their work history. The “temp to hire” process allows someone to “pay their dues” while gaining valuable work experience and, hopefully, impressing the management group.
·      Get Your “Foot in the Door” - There are some companies that staff exclusively “temp to hire”. While this is the exception rather than the norm, this may be the only way to successfully enter the company. This is a version of “pay your dues” that is strictly on the company’s terms. However, for employers who are considered preferred, this may be the only chance to be hired. This is a similar philosophy to the companies who require everyone to start part-time or “on-call”.
·      Provide Immediate Economic Relief - If you are like most Americans, you live at or close to a “check to check” basis. That would leave most people little room to be between jobs. It is not unusual for individuals to be in a situation where they are ineligible for or have consumed all of their unemployment. If that is the case, a temporary agency can provide you immediate employment with the opportunity for hire, rather than waiting what is often a lengthy delayed process directly with an employer.
·      Valuable Job Seeking Expertise - For many individuals, a temporary agency can serve as a free employment agent to another job. People new to the labor market may be unfamiliar with how to job search and can use the expertise and resources of a temporary agency to find employment. For individuals who currently have jobs, a temporary agency may be able to do the legwork that the gainfully employed cannot do during the workday. You may be a very qualified individual who is uncomfortable with the “meat market” of job seeking and wish to have someone from a temporary agency handle the initial contact with staffing professionals.
Temporary agencies can have good paying, interesting jobs. Read through the latest issue of wnyjobs.com and see first-hand the jobs that they are advertising for. You may find the type of job you have been hoping to land. 
Don’t forget, when you land that great “temp to hire” position, you need to go there with the attitude that you are a member of the team. Do not let the fact that you lack current payroll status effect your work in any way. Individuals with the “I’m just a temp” attitude maintain their non-payroll status. The individuals who impress and acclimate are the people who use the temporary agency as a springboard for a successful employment relationship. This will place you in the perfect position to capitalize when the economy rebounds.