May 9, 2019 3:00 pm
Running a business is never a straight forward process. Business owners are constantly adjusting strategies and looking for new ways to attract more business, reduce their overhead costs, and position themselves as a leader within their industry. As a result, the staffing needs of a company are rarely fixed. Staffing needs may go up and down throughout the year depending on a variety of different factors. It’s one of the reasons many business owners turn to temporary employees to meet their current staffing needs. Here we detail for you why you might want to consider hiring temporary employees for your business.
Temporary employees are just that — temporary. Unlike full-time and part-time employees, temporary employees will only be on your books for a certain period of time. This is understood when they sign on. This can be hugely beneficial when it comes to addressing the need for additional staff during the completion of certain projects without having to take on the long-term costs of adding a new long term employee.
Hiring a new employee is costly. The U.S. Bureau of Labor estimates that the average cost of hiring a new employee is $57,967.88 — and this only includes basic wages, taxes, and benefits. Broken down to an hourly rate, the average costs for employee compensation (as of 2018) according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is $36.63 an hour. Only 68.3 percent of these costs (around $25.03) are attributed to actual wages and salaries. These numbers vary greatly depending on the position you are hiring for.
Not only are you adding their salary or hourly wage to your books, but you’re also responsible for a number of associated costs, including payroll taxes, overtime costs, health benefits, retirement benefits, workers’ compensation, and more. That’s just counting the cost of taking on a new employee. It also costs money to advertise the position you need to fill, to screen potential employees, and to test them to make sure that they have the proper skill set for the job. Not only is this expensive, but it’s also time-consuming.
Numerous studies exist detailing the potential costs of taking on permanent employees. For example, the Society for Human Resource Management found that not only does it cost companies an average of $4,129 to hire a single employee, but it often takes up to 42 days to fill a position. A study by Glassdoor published a study with similar statistics, finding that the average American company spends around $4,000 to hire a new employee and takes roughly 52 days to fill a single position.
Going through a temporary or staffing agency can help cut many of these costs. You’ll likely save a significant amount of time and money on the hiring process itself because you won’t have to go through resumes and interviews screening potential employees. A staffing agency will simply send over a few hand-picked candidates that have already been screened. This is especially helpful for smaller businesses that do not have their own HR departments and need to put their time to much better use.
Secondly, staffing agencies are responsible for insurance, including unemployment and workers’ compensation as well as health care benefits and retirement. Retirement benefits are a particularly large expense. Depending on your retirement program, you’re contributing a lot of money to the retirement funds of your employees. You won’t have to worry about these contributions when it comes to temporary employees.
You’ll only pay the employee their wages plus whatever fee is charged by the agency without having to pay all of the costs typically associated with hiring new employees and keeping them on your books long term.
Reducing your overhead when taking on more staff shouldn’t be your only goal — and it’s not the only benefit to hiring temporary employees, whether you’re hiring them directly or going through a temporary agency. Some of the added benefits of adding temporary employees to your work environment include these:
Hiring new employees can take a lot of time, especially if you don’t have a dedicated HR department. Going through resumes, taking phone calls, and interviewing candidates in person will take away from the time you need to dedicate to your actual business goals. Additionally, hiring poorly qualified candidates due to a lackluster screening process could result in spending unnecessary time addressing the mistakes that they are making or their generally poor performance. Not to mention the time and stress involved with having to fire that employee and to replace them.
Going through a temporary agency will save you a significant amount of time as well as stress since you are much more likely to find highly qualified candidates that will do the job you need to be done properly. Temporary agencies are very careful about who they send your way because the performance of their temporary employees will have a direct impact on their reputation as an agency.
Taking on temporary employees allows for more flexibility because you can take them on for designated periods of time. Hiring temporary employees also makes it easier to manage the workloads and adjust the shifts of your existing staff when necessary. It provides your company with the ability to adapt to certain situations on the fly.
For example, you may have employees who are taking their vacation time all at once, who are temporarily out due to an injury or illness, or who are on maternity leave. If this occurs during a particularly busy time, it could cause your staff to become overworked. Temporary employees can replace missing staff members while they are gone without having to add employees that you may not need once your regular staff is back.
Temporary employees are typically highly motivated. They want to show that they can do the job well in the event that you end up needing someone full time and offer them a regular position. Even if you don’t, temporary employees know that you will be letting their agency know how they did. If they do poorly, it will likely affect the confidence that their agency has in them, which could lead to fewer positions being made available to them.
This motivation to work hard will only benefit your company. Not only will it help you get the work done that needs to be done, but it will benefit your employees as well. They will help reduce their workload and hopefully motivate them as a direct result (by hiring temporary workers, you show your willingness to staff up when needed to reduce the workload of your employees).
One of the disadvantages of hiring new employees to address peak business times is that once those peak times have passed, you may be overstaffed heading into the slow season, resulting in either unnecessary overhead or laying off employees. Temporary employees are a great way to ensure that your normal staff isn’t overworked during the busy times of the year and prevents unnecessary costs and layoffs once the busy season ends. Retail businesses often experience peak seasons (such as during the holiday season) and slow seasons, which is why they often use temporary employees to address their ever-changing staffing needs.
Hiring a temporary employee also provides you with time to evaluate their abilities if you are looking to hire on a long term basis. If they are a good fit with your company, then you can offer them a full-time position once their contract ends. Even if you don’t take them on as an employee, a temporary employee can help address your staffing needs while you look for a more qualified full-time candidate.
If your business is headed into the busy season or you’re working on a project that requires a lot of work, consider hiring temporary employees. Temporary employees are a great way to address your staffing needs without having to commit to the costs of taking on a long term employee. Even if you think you might need a regular employee, a temporary employee is an excellent way to evaluate the position to see whether adding additional staff members will benefit your company. You can always offer a temporary employee a position if they prove to be an asset to your company.
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