Thoughts on Temporary Workers
With the continued challenge of today’s economic times, temporary workers play a significant role to businesses in terms of lowering costs. Especially with employers in industries that heavily rely on strong holiday season sales, the performance of temporary workers also is critical to customer service satisfaction. However, how do you know whether or not hiring temporary workers is truly advantageous to your business?
Consider the following six advantages and disadvantages:
- They enable businesses to adjust more easily and quickly to workload fluctuations (e.g. employee absences, unexpected customer demands, etc.).
- The employer may choose to evaluate and promote a temporary worker into a regular job position with less hesitation (since you have already observed work performance).
- They can provide specialized skills and offer employers new ideas or techniques that can become a competitive advantage for the business.
- They customarily do not receive employee benefits which is a major cost benefit.
- In terms of the hiring process, employers may consider contracting with a placement agency to recruit, select and hire temporary workers for them. This results in time savings of not having to spend time to interview job candidates or set aside time to go over paperwork.
- They would only need to receive training (if applicable) for specialized projects and do not need to be held responsible for other departments.
- If the employer chooses to have a temporary agency bring in a person, then the employer may miss out screening the worker’s “personality” and form important first impressions.
- Their motivation may decrease over time.
- They may superficially show interest for the success of the company but may not be too invested since no direct employee benefits (e.g. health insurance, stock options, or job advancement) are offered.
- They are less able to form successful long-lasting relationships with other members of the workforce due to being focused within a single department or assigned to a special project.
- Safety risks are higher because the individual is less likely to be familiar with safety procedures set out by the company.
- A supervisor often needs to micromanage until he or she feels a temporary employee can safely perform the work tasks alone.
In all, when deciding whether to keep a temporary worker, employers need to critically analyze how much of an impact their businesses would have if work remains unassigned or a position remains vacant. Cost-benefits should be explored as well. If you as an employer decide to hire a new temporary worker, ensure early success with clear expectations and direction as you would with any newly-hired regular employee.