The Pros and Cons of Hiring Temporary Employees

Temporary workers play an important role in many companies. Are they right for your small business? Check out these pros and cons of hiring a temp.

Temporary workers make up a big part of the workforce in the U.S. How big? The American Staffing Association says that there are more than 3 million temporary and contract workers work for staffing companies in America during an average week and 16 million during a typical year.  

The use of temporary help has enjoyed an upward growth ever since entrepreneur William Russell Kelly opened the first temporary staffing agency in 1946. Today Kelly Services is one of many staffing services and has long done away with its “Kelly Girl” clerical temp image. Like most present-day agencies, its positions are no longer limited to secretaries and file clerks and women.

Temp workers currently possess a myriad of other titles including: accountants, financial officers, assembly-line workers, nurses, doctors, scientists, lawyers, and information technology professionals. 

Should your business hire temporary help? 

To find out, check out these pros and cons of hiring a temp. You may just find that this hiring arrangement is something that is well-suited for your business right now or something that you’ll want to seriously consider in the future. 

RELATED: 7 Inexpensive Ways to Retain Employees in Your Small Business

Reasons for Hiring Temps 

There are a number of reasons why it’s wise to hire a temp instead of a full- or part-time worker. Here are some of the pros:

1. Enables your business to adjust more easily and quickly to workload fluctuations

Temporary help agencies can quickly provide your business with qualified staff. Some common reasons companies hire temps:

  • Employee absences: illness, vacation, maternity or disability leave, sudden departure
  • Unexpected or temporary demands: special projects, seasonal or peak periods, employee shortages

2. Maintains staffing flexibility

With the popularity and staying power of flexible work arrangements, employers need to stay current with the needs of today’s work force. Hiring temps is just one of the ways that businesses can offer flexibility and at the same time better meet their own needs.

Denise Ridenour of Kelly Services foresees that “the employment pool will increasingly include a mix of temporary and full-time employees. The result is a more efficient workplace, a more flexible job market, and greater opportunities for both employers and employees. Additionally, improving productivity enhances a company’s bottom line and employee job security.”

3. Lets your business evaluate a worker without commitment

Based on your evaluation or preferences, you can employ a temp for a designated short-term position or, if desired, offer a full-time position to a worker who suits your business. Some businesses employ temporary workers as an excellent and cost-efficient way to recruit and test the abilities of new workers before signing them on full-time.

Other companies will repeatedly use the services of a temp worker who has proven to be a company asset. Hiring a temp can also be a good way to continue getting work done while you search for the perfect candidate for a particular job. If unsatisfied with a temp’s work performance, all you need do is contact the temp agency and they will take care of the rest.

4. Can save time and money

The cost of hiring temp workers is often cheaper than the cost of hiring permanent employees with benefits. In the short term, it’s generally more cost-efficient to hire a temp. For jobs that are expected to last six months or longer, it may pay to hire a full-time employee.   

RELATED:  How To Find Employees for Your Small Business

When you employ an agency, it — not you — becomes the temp worker’s employer. The agency is responsible for and bears the financial burden of recruiting, screening, testing, and hiring workers; payroll expenses and paperwork; payroll and withholding taxes; unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance; and any employee benefits they may wish to provide. Some agencies even provide training such as software application tutorials.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

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