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Using Temporary Employees in Your Business

written by: Lucinda Watrous•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 6/6/2010

If you only need a small amount of help for a short period of time, using a few temporary employees may solve the problem. Before you call the first temporary employment agency in the phone book, find out more about the pros and cons of staffing your business this way.

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    The Pros of Temporary Employment Agencies

    Temporary Employment Agencies:Worker 

    • Come in all shapes and sizes. They have various specialities so employers can find the right kind of people for the job.
    • Gives employers flexibility. Control the workload. During busier seasons, hire temps rather than full time employees that you may have to lay off later. When someone's on maternity leave or sick for an extended period of time, hire a temp in their place.
    • Allows no-comittment employee evaluation. If you've had too many new hires fail to work out over time, hire a temp and watch them work for awhile until you can decide whether or not to hire them full time.
    • Saves time and money. If a person is not going to work with you for long, it can save you time and money associated with benefits and interviews. If the person needs to be there for at least six months, it may be a better idea to hire directly.
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    The Cons of Temporary Employment Agencies

    When dealing with temp workers, employers may find:

    • A decreased reliability.This doesn't mean that all temporary employees will be less reliable than an employee, and this doesn't mean that a regular employee will be more reliable. Some people believe that because they don't work directly for you, temps will care less about the job and therefore perform on a lower standard. This will vary from person to person.
    • A poor morale. When a temp works many hours along side regular employees, he or she may not be happy about putting the same time and effort into the same work for less money and/or benefits.
    • They have to spend time training each temp for each assignment. Continuously having to train new temps for a position will become time consuming and may become more trouble than it's worth.
    • Legal concerns. Make sure all temps understand they are only temporary, and not guaranteed a position for a certain amount of time. Also make sure they know they are not eligible for the same benefits as regular employees, but ensure they are treated the same way on the job.
    • Safety concerns. No temp should be left alone to work or do any sort of dangerous work unless the employer has seen the job done well. Assuming the temp knows something he or she does not could cause harm.
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    Weighing the Decision

    Depending on the nature of the business, it may not be wise to hire temps. For others, it may the perfect solution. When deciding whether or not you should hire any temporary employees, closely consider each pro and con to determine if it's viable for the tasks you need done and work toward effective business management. If you do decide to hire a temporary agency, work with a few different ones until you see the kinds of employees they send you. Build a relationship with one temporary agency exclusively to get good, quality service.

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    Photo Credit: Flickr