Temp Professionals: An Employment Agency Ace in the Hole
Adecco is Canada’s largest employment agency, staffing both temps and permanent employees. That means that we’re keenly aware of the line many people draw between what they think a temp would do for work versus what a permanent placement would. Typically, people associate temps with clerical, administrative, and labour jobs while permanent placements are more often associated with specialized professional roles, such as roles within sales, marketing, law, or finance. But the line is much blurrier than employers and the general public assume.
Who is a temp professional?
Many employers believe that when it comes to professional roles, permanent placements are the obvious choice. After all, a certain type of lawyer or accountant brings with them specialized skills and arcane knowledge that, when combined with the intimate knowledge they’ll gain of the organization over time, equates to a uniquely prized asset. In fact, intimate knowledge of a particular organization should never be underestimated in any employee regardless of their departmental function or rank. Knowing a business and its people is invaluable and a major reason why a solid employment agency will emphasize the importance of corporate cultural fit between candidates and clients in their searches; it allows candidate and client to get off on the right foot, more likely resulting in a mutually beneficial relationship built on loyalty and trust.
And the effort to find this fit isn’t limited to permanent roles. As the stories in our TempTalk series demonstrate, when a temp feels a sense of belonging despite being on contract, both they and the organization they’re working at reap the rewards. However, those same stories also describe many other benefits temps get to enjoy, such as high levels of personal flexibility and the ability to try on various hats that bestow more and more transferable skills. Such benefits are the reason many professionals, from sales managers to lawyers to accountants, choose to be temps – and why wise employers keep tabs on when it’s best to hire them.
Just as manufacturers experience ramp-ups and ramp-downs in the amount of workers they need, many other types of businesses require similar workforce flexibility. Unfortunately, sometimes they don’t realize it. It’s important for every business to consider the long-term viability of each role they hire for. Do you need a web designer on staff permanently, or only until you’ve cleaned up your site? Do you need a business operations specialist to continue keeping an eye on your processes, or do you just need them to tidy things up before you’re comfortable taking the reins again? Of course, the answer to these questions depends very much on an organization’s particular business, industry, and size – all of which need to be factored into the decision. If you need help, remember that an employment agency like Adecco – offering both temp and permanent staffing services in a variety of industries – can advise on the most strategic and cost-effective route to take.
Any economy is a temp economy
Although it’s widely believed – and partially true – that temps are often utilized by organizations during economic slowdowns to cut costs, the whole truth is more complex and something employers should bear in mind. The fact is that, regardless of the state of the economy, temps are always a good option for employers to control costs, particularly if they come from a tried and true employment agency. After all, two of the most common strengths a first-rate employment agency will boast in order to differentiate itself from a client’s internal recruitment team include: access to several specific yet vast crops of talent cultivated over many years; and the ability to proactively seek and persuade the best talent via exclusive channels, such as relationships with business associations, clients, former candidates, and more. Ultimately, these efforts lead to higher quality candidates, saved time, and saved money.
But what exactly are the advantages temps offer businesses in slow economic times, or even recessions? “In times of economic sluggishness and high unemployment, employers turn to temps because they only want – or can afford – to use them on an as-needed basis,” says Vanessa Rodziewicz, Managing Director of Adecco Professional and Adecco Finance. “However, another major advantage that employment agencies provide in such times is their ability to scoop up talent that may have been let go from organizations that weren’t able to weather the economic storm. Many such candidates then turn to employment agencies for work, allowing us to place them with clients who would have had trouble nabbing such talent in a hot job market – assuming they hadn’t enlisted our help, of course. We’re also able to conduct the gold panning, so to speak, that’s needed to filter the most qualified people out of the overwhelming flood of applications that’s sure to come.”
However, in times of economic recovery and growth, temps can still be an invaluable resource to get ahead of the competition. Says Rodziewicz: “During economic booms, many employers are more relaxed about taking their time to find just the right permanent fit for a given role. Obviously, that’s the strength a top-notch employment agency, and it’s extremely important. However, a temp who sufficiently performs the work – or at least some of the work – can help ensure operations remain smooth in the meantime. And sometimes that temp proves to be the permanent placement you were looking for all along.”