Using temporary employment services has long been a standard method of staffing businesses of varying sizes and scopes. Although small and medium-sized businesses frequently use temporary staffing for short-term or flexible options, large companies also regularly turn to them in today’s economy.
Have employers considered using temps to supplement their company’s permanent staff to maintain competitive advantage, customer service and productivity levels during recessionary times?
Read on to learn about temporary employment services, why companies use them, and which solutions are available to employers seeking employees for their staffing needs.
What is “temporary employment”?
Temporary employment refers to hiring short-term or temporary workers to complete a project, satisfy seasonal demand, or when there is a lack of full-time personnel.
Companies can hire temporary employees by working with staffing agencies to find experienced, pre-screened employees who are ready to work immediately or by hiring temporary workers directly.
In South Africa, temporary employment services (TES) are regulated by the Labour Relations Act of 1995 and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act of 1997. The government created the legislation to address the shortcomings of the labour market and ensure that temporary employees receive benefits comparable to those of permanent workers.
Why do businesses hire part-time or temporary employees through temporary employment services?
Every company faces unique staffing challenges on the journey to building or maintaining business success. To solve those challenges, – business owners, management and HR teams must define labour needs and implement the most appropriate staffing model in their industry and business environment.
Temporary employment services offer businesses a flexible way to staff positions that are difficult to fill with permanent employees or in situations when there is a sudden short-term labour demand. The most common scenarios where the use of temporary employment services can provide the best solution are:
When demand is urgent
Developing a solid strategy for managing workers is vital, but employers can never foresee every possible circumstance. Temporary employment services allow companies to hire workers with the speed and flexibility that the permanent recruitment process would not provide.
Demand for specific projects
Temporary employees can help a business cope with project-related peaks in demand and work volume without having to hire and train permanent staff or incur higher employee benefit costs.
Seasonal or cyclical demand using temporary employment services
The business year has specific periods where the demand for goods and services is higher than others (e.g., Christmas or holiday sales). Organisations can turn to temporary employment services to accommodate this increase in demand without the cost and burden of increasing their workforce permanently.
Demand for complex or specialised skills
Sometimes the job at hand may be too complex for the in-house team, too specialised to fit with long-term planning requirements, or regulations may only allow an organisation to use a contracted service for the time being.
This is where temporary employment services can help to hire someone with the specialised knowledge or technical skills to achieve the required project goal on time and within budget.
Handling fluctuating demand
In industries where staff turnover rates are very high, and the need for workers is irregular, such as food service and construction, hiring workers on a short-term or project basis helps to fill in the gaps in a company’s workforce. This solution is especially valuable when organisations experience increased workloads and need to retain workers when demands decrease.
What are the benefits of using temporary employment services?
Today’s businesses recognise that having available employees is always a good option in the long run, as it ensures continuity and quality of service. Partnering with a reputable temporary employment agency opens access to a pool of labour that can be called upon when hiring a new full-time employee is not feasible or necessary.
This is one of the many advantages of hiring staff through temporary employment services.
Hiring temporary employees is a speedy process compared to the time it takes to hire a permanent, full-time employee. The most experienced temp agencies already have CV databases and talent pools to source candidates. They are skilled at running efficient recruitment processes to increase the time-to-hire of temporary employees.
Reducing the workload
When temporary workers come in to fill gaps or help with peak workloads, businesses can focus on higher-level tasks that only permanent staff members can handle. This reduced workload tends to make the tasks of permanent staff members less stressful and more manageable, thereby reducing their chances of burnout.
Temporary employees do not incur the fixed costs of a full-time workforce. While they incur per-hour costs of payroll, equipment and supervision, these figures are lower than the full-time equivalent, which includes fixed benefits regardless of the number of hours worked.
Temporary employment agencies that offer a comprehensive solution will also absorb the administrative costs of recruiting, screening, reference checking, payroll and taxes.
Screened and qualified employees
Temporary employment agencies screen potential employees, leaving businesses to do what they do best, which is manage their operations efficiently. From the standpoint of business efficiency, screening and quality-control features built into the temporary employment agency’s solution are unmatched.
Temporary employment services allow companies to hire qualified workers quickly. Also, if the project takes less time than anticipated or the workers’ performance is substandard, the company can cut ties with temporary employees without much risk.
Temporary employment agencies will typically handle critical tasks like setting up contracts and managing payroll, taxes and any compliance issues that may arise during the contractual period.
What do businesses need to be aware of if they hire temporary employees?
Although temporary employment’s flexibility, convenience, and cost-effectiveness are attractive features for businesses, they must also consider the risks and obligations associated with hiring temporary employees.
Just as they would with a permanent employee, employers should develop a contract establishing clear guidelines regarding the temporary worker’s duties and performance expectations.
These contracts help clarify the relationship between the worker and the company and outline critical information such as pay rate, hours, holidays, benefits (if applicable), training and other tasks outside regular responsibilities.
Organisations should seek to protect themselves and the temporary worker by ensuring all the terms have been communicated in the contract and with the temporary employment agency. The labour broker or temp agency an employer chooses should be reputable and have a proven track record of success with companies in your industry.
It is also vital for employers to understand the nature of their relationship with the temporary employee, particularly if they intend to assign them critical or sensitive duties. Companies and their service providers should develop clear standards for evaluating a worker’s performance and offer temporary employees the opportunity to provide suggestions to improve those standards.
Choosing an outsourcing partner
An essential first step for recruiting skilled and qualified temporary employees is selecting a reputable labour broker that the organisation can trust to provide high-quality employment services.
The best temporary employment agencies understand that every business has unique HR and staffing requirements. They will tailor staffing services to the company’s specific needs and align temporary workers with those companies based on their expertise and qualifications.
Outsourcing to an expert labour broker means they should be able to properly screen and match candidates with temporary jobs based on their experience and expertise. Hiring managers are responsible for ensuring that candidates possess the knowledge, education and technical qualifications to accomplish the position’s tasks.
Managing payroll and other administrative tasks is complex and time-consuming, especially when the company has several locations or many employees. The temp agency needs the expertise to handle transactions and remove the administrative burden from the employer’s shoulders.
The MASA solution for temporary employment services
As a temporary employment agency, we can provide all temporary employment services, no matter what kind of solution you require. Our team supplies white-collar temps through Greys Recruitment, blue-collar temps, and staffing solutions services through MASA Outsourcing.
Partnering with the Measured Ability (MASA) group means you gain access to the most innovative employment services driven by advanced technology, qualified personnel, vast candidate networks and years of experience in HR and staffing.
Contact us now for a personalised consultation to analyse your staffing requirements and implement the temporary employment services necessary to meet them.