Employment agencies can be a great way to find work in times of need. As with anything though there are both pros and cons that should be considered before using temporary staffing agencies for work. I have worked with staffing agencies for several years and have come across these pros and cons first hand, so if you are a person considering temporary employment for income, I am sure this will help you navigate through any uncertainties you may have. I have divided the article in a list of pros, and a list of cons, to make it easy for you to follow.
1. Excellent networking
On of the major benefits to temporary jobs is that they offer great networking abilities. Each new company a temporary employee works at is an excellent opportunity to connect with new people, discover new clients, or even make new friends. Due to the nature of each temporary job typically lasting a few weeks to a month, a temporary employee can meet a variety of people in various industry in a single year of working temporary jobs, much more than can made at any job by itself.
2. Doesn’t get boring
Another benefit of temporary jobs is that the work never has time to get boring. Often when working at a new job, the first few weeks are typically exciting because everything is new, the work, coworkers, etc. This excitement usually passes after a couple months as an employee get comfortable with the work and environment, and sometimes boredom can set in as a result. With temporary jobs however, the work and working environment changes frequently with each temporary job worked, and it usually remains fresh enough for it not to become boring.
3. Try out new employers
Temporary staffing jobs offer the unique opportunity to allow you to “try out” working for a company without there being any long term commitment involved. If for whatever reason you don’t like working at a particular temporary job, you can speak to your staffing agent and work a new temporary job. Temp employees don’t have to be committed to any of the employers they are temping for which makes it very easy to change temporary jobs and allow you to work where you want to. This also allows a temporary employee to discover what companies and types of jobs they enjoy so that they can seek a permanent position in that industry.
4. Gets your foot in the door
Temporary jobs, especially temporary to permanent (temp to perm) jobs allow an agency temp to get their foot in the door for companies that may not typically be hiring. Temp to perm jobs allow the employer to test you out before hiring you as well as let you test the company out before deciding to apply and being hired full time. Temping therefore increases your chances of being hired in this way.
5. Skill training
Every job a person works teaches new skills and increases the worth of the employee. When a temporary employee works several jobs in a short amount of time, this can increase his/her skills dramatically. These skills could be in new programs, customer service, new hardware, etc. By working several temporary jobs, an employee can gain many useful skills which look great on a resume!
6. Staffing Agencies work as mediators
If you happen to encounter a problem or dispute with the company you are working for as an agency temp, the staffing agency can work as a mediator and find resolution to the problem which is an added benefit. Occasionally you may encounter a problem with a coworker or manager that may not be resolved. The staffing agency can help you contact human resources, the department manager, or even have you transferred to another position if the problem isn’t resolved properly.
7. Staffing Agencies find work for you.
A great benefit of staffing agencies is that the staffing agent does all the searching for you to find a job. They search all their client who needs temporary employees and can you work much faster than if you were looking by yourself. If you utilize several staffing agencies at once, you’ll have much better chances of finding work! It’s great having someone find jobs you’re qualified for, because one of the major problems with job hunting is the hunting.
1. Temporary jobs don’t last.
This is obviously the major downside to temporary employment. Temporary staffing jobs don’t last, and there is no real guarantee that you will have steady or long term employment as a temp. For many people the idea of this can be very stressful because as soon as the job is over, you are unemployed again. This stress can be alleviated by asking your staffing agency for “temp to perm” jobs that give the opportunity of being hired on permanently.
2. Lack of consistency between temporary work.
A potential problem that certain people have with staffing agencies is that the temporary work can be inconsistent which can be stressful. It’s hard to remain stable financially when a temp job can changes several times a year, where the employee needs to adapt to a new working environment, new managers and coworkers, and job responsibilities. Some people however find these frequent changes to be a benefit because their work never has time to get old, and so they don’t get bored. If you are a person who enjoys consistency in their work and working environment, then a staffing agency may not be a good fit for you.
3. Little to no benefits.
One of the major downsides to staffing agencies is that they provide inadequate benefits or no benefits at all for their employees working temporary jobs. During times like these when the economy is poor and healthcare costs so much, it’s extremely important to have health insurance and a savings plan like a 401(k). When choosing staffing agencies you’d like to work for, I highly recommend looking into the benefits they provide, and if they provide inadequate benefits, seeking insurance on your own. The consequences of not having insurance can be devastating and is the cause for the majority of bankruptcies in the country.
4. Reporting to both the staffing agency and the manager.
A problem that can arise from staffing agencies is that a temp employee may have to report to both the staffing agent as well as the manager of the company that the temp is working for. This can causes problems when a temp employee is sick, and misses work, as well as timecard or payroll issues. It can sometimes be confusing to a temporary employee who they need to report to when they experience a problem so it’s important that they discuss the chain of command with the staffing agent before starting a temporary job.
5. Lower pay with temporary work.
Typically temporary staffing jobs pay less than their permanent counterparts, and that’s one of the main reasons why companies use temp employees because it’s cheaper on their bottom line. Some staffing agencies may also take a cut of your paycheck, to pay for the services they are providing you, so be sure you ask about this when you apply with your staffing agency. Not all staffing agencies do this, and many offer competitive salaries relative to the type of temporary work being contracted for.
6. Reluctant to hire temp employees permanently.
A possible downside that can occur with a temporary job happens with temp to perm jobs. Some temporary jobs offer the opportunity of being hired on permanently if the temp performs well, but sometimes the employer can be reluctant to hire an agency temp because the temp is already providing the work needed at a lower cost. Some companies may also not want to pay a temp benefits or insurance either, which can be costly. The good new is that the majority of companies with temp to perm positions aren’t like this, and I wouldn’t recommend being hired on permanently with a company that would treat a temp in this manner.
7. Temp stigma and ostracism from permanent employees.
Occasionally a temporary employee may get a temporary job working in a company that is prestige oriented, and the permanent employees may treat the temporary employee negatively or condescendingly because they believe that temporary employees aren’t important or lower in status then they are. This kind of ostracism should not be tolerated, and if you ever experience this as a temp employee, I suggest speaking with your staffing agent to have this problem resolved. Just because a temp isn’t a permanent employee, doesn’t mean they deserve to be treated with a negative attitude by their coworkers.
Hopefully by reading the various pros and cons of temporary employment, you will be able to make an informed decision about staffing agencies and determine if they are right for you. Good luck with your employment search and Godspeed!