Updated: Jul 12
Every company needs temporary help sooner or later. Even if your Human Resources department does most of the staffing for your company, eventually you’ll need someone with the kind of skills and experience that can’t be found quickly through the usual process. And at a time like that, you’ll need to use a temp agency.
How do Temp Agencies Work?
A temp agency is a company that provides employees to their clients on a short-term, hourly basis. When a temp comes to work for your company, what you’re really doing is hiring the agency. Your company pays a fee for the services of the agency, and they are responsible for the taxes and other administrative requirements for the temp.
If you like the temp, your company can often hire them as a permanent employee. This is commonly called a “temp-to-hire”. Any fees associated with hiring the temp are usually pro-rated by the amount of time the temporary works for your company.
What are the Pros and Cons of Using Temps?
There’re a lot of factors to consider when using temporary help.
Pro: Using a temp agency makes for faster hires
When you’re in a hurry to fill a position, using a good temp employment agency is often your best option. Temp agencies excel at getting people into positions quickly.
Con: A quick hire isn’t necessarily the best hire
There are also times when hiring someone quickly can cause more trouble than simply leaving the position open. For example, the temp agency may send someone to your company who may have the skills but who lacks the experience and temperament to be successful in the position. For this reason, it’s important to have developed a relationship with a staffing partner. Someone who knows your company will help you find the right person to fill your positions quickly.
Pro: Temp agencies know where to find people who aren’t actively looking
Your company may need someone with a specific set of abilities, who may have a professional license, skills with certain software, and/or experience within a certain field. Your HR department has placed advertisements and done some networking, but so far, you haven’t found anyone for the position. It’s times like these that the value of a good employment agency can’t be overstated. Agencies usually have a very wide network of people they can call on. If they don’t already know someone who fits your needs, they likely know how to find someone who does, and they can usually do it faster than your in-house resources.
Con: The people temp agencies know may not be interested in a permanent position
With the rise of the “gig economy” we’re seeing an increase in people who just don’t want to work in a permanent job. More and more people are making a conscious decision to work as temporaries despite having the opportunity to become permanent employees. This means your position may simply be another temporary job for them when your company needs an employee who will be around for the long term.
Pro: Temps provide relief for your permanent staff
Whether you bring in a temp to cover for someone who is on leave or because you have too much work for your current staff to handle, you can’t ignore the fact that temps make it possible for your permanent staff to catch a breather. Being able to take a vacation, a day off, or even just to work less than 50+ hours per week is great for your employees and is also good for your company.
Con: Temps can be bad for company morale
The scheduling relief that temps bring to your employees is often negated by the need to provide additional training. It’s no good being able to take Friday off when you know that you’ll have to work extra hours Monday through Thursday showing someone how to do a job and then making sure that they’ve done the job correctly. Even if you have a staffing partner, you’ll still need to participate in the search for employees.
There are a lot of factors to consider when you’re trying to decide whether or not to hire a staffing agency. Fortunately, many of the concerns that arise can be addressed by choosing a good employment agency to work with.
How to Choose a Good Agency
Temporary employees can help your company better navigate the natural ups and downs of the market. The best way to get that kind of assistance is to work with a good agency. But with all of the agencies out there, where do you start? And what should you look for in a good agency?
Find an agency that specializes in your business
It’s always a good idea to find an agency that’s familiar with your market segment. If the agency you’re working with understands your business the likelihood of working well together will greatly improve.
Do your research
Talk to your colleagues, review the business press, and take a look at LinkedIn, as well as other online resources for employment agencies in your area. Every agency will have critics and detractors, but the agency you’re looking to work with should have been around for long enough for good reviews and positive recommendations.
Be clear on the policies and charges
When you’re considering an agency, make sure you’re clear on their cost as well as their policies, particularly when it comes to converting a temporary employee to a permanent employee. This is especially important because if you’re working with the right agency they are likely to provide you temporary employees who you would like to work with on a permanent basis.
The business world has a lot of employment agencies. The problem isn’t finding an agency, the problem is finding a good agency before you have an urgent need. The right agency will save you money, time, and stress, but you have to put in some effort to find them. Fortunately, a relatively small investment of your time can have huge dividends. Take the time now to find a good agency to partner with. The results will speak for themselves.
Optimum Staffing Solutions is a full-service staffing and HR agency serving both companies and job seekers alike. Optimum takes the stress out of the job and employee search–with over 50 years of combined hiring experience, we understand the business elements and bigger picture of staffing. We develop a deep comprehension of both client and candidate needs in order to find the right fit for you, lower time to fill, and continue to act as advisor and guide throughout the hiring process.
Whether seeking jobs or employees on a contract basis, temp, short- or long- term, remote or in-person, freelance projects or even outsourcing your HR department entirely, Optimum has the insight and expertise to destress staffing and help you succeed. For accounting, finance, IT, legal, marketing, HR, and engineering, Optimum is staffing…reimagined.
Curious how a staffing agency could help your business? Schedule a free, 30 minute Discovery Call with Optimum to learn more.