According to the American Staffing Association (ASA), 3 million people are employed by U.S. staffing companies weekly; 11 million temporary and contract employees are hired by U.S. staffing firms over the course of a year. The contingent (or contemporary) workforce is expected to rise to 4% in just a few years which is where Europe is with this trend today. There are, however, many misconceptions about this workforce both from hiring managers and from employees themselves.
Debunking these myths helps define the advantage to having temporary workers in the mix. They are helping not just individual companies grow, but are spurring growth in the whole economy.
Myth #1: They Move from Job to Job
While temporary workers do move to different assignments, they are often steadily employed through a staffing agency. A person’s work history may reflect dozens of seperate assignments but they have been consistently employed by one agency. That means that the things that you are looking for in an employee (commitment, reliability, trust, etc.) are all there. An agency isn’t going to reassign someone who doesn’t perform well or doesn’t show up. The multiple employers listed should really be treated as projects under one employer.
Myth #2: They’re Untrained
Temp workers come with a wide range of skill sets. In fact, many receive training from the agency they work with. For example, Nesco Resource works with many of its clients to train employees on job functions, safety, and more. Working with our clients, we are able to determine what kinds of training will be most beneficial and create programs accordingly.
Myth #3: They’re Not Part of the Team
Temporary workers, like anyone, are motivated by team spirit. Although their stay in a workplace may be limited, that doesn’t mean that their assignment isn’t part of larger goals. In fact, there are many cases in which short term projects are the very foundation of a team spirit in a workplace. From employers to full time staff to temporary staff, the more team spirit is encouraged, the better the work for everyone involved.
Myth #4: They’re Not Doing ‘Real’ Work
The implication is that temporary workers are doing the jobs that no one else wants to do. In fact, temporary employees often perform work that requires a high degree of skill and training. They also often do work that, while it might be considered unskilled, requires diligence and effort and is an important part of an overall strategy. The point is this: temporary workers are mostly used in order to smooth over the highs and lows of business cycles and seasonal demand. They’re needed skills are linked to these factors rather than an arbitrary ranking of work tasks.
Myth #5: This Is A Bad Trend
Macro-economic trends are very subjective. Two people can look at the same numbers and come away with completely opposite analyses. Generally, however, people look back on a time when employees worked for the same company for 30 years before retiring. That reality has changed for many, but it has opened up opportunities to work in a wide range of industries, gain experience, and make contacts. For many companies, a contingent workforce allows them to compete, manage rapid growth, and remain nimble in a just-in-time economy. The majority of the workforce is still full-time by a huge margin. Temporary workers are actually helping spur growth for individual companies and the economy overall. That’s good for everyone.
Are you a temp worker? What experience have you had? Let us know in the comment section below or share on social media through the links below!