Having the widest range of staffing options available to you allows you to be incredibly flexible as a business. Temp laborers are active in great numbers, which means you'll always find the best fit for your unique needs. This goes for skilled and unskilled labor alike. You can use temporary laborers to expand your capabilities for particular jobs or as “auditions” when you're looking to hire or expand in the long-term. And should you need to cut down as the season slows, you've already planned ahead via contract length for how this will happen.
Let's dive into each of the reasons why temp laborers make your business stronger and more adaptable:
1. Trial Run
The greatest advantage in choosing temp laborers is the ability to try out workers before making a commitment. One of the great hidden costs businesses incur is hiring the wrong people into permanent roles. When you've hired someone on before knowing if they'll really be the best fit or if their skills will directly translate, you're taking a big chance. That chance often works out, but when it doesn't, it's incredibly costly.
On top of this, many businesses are slow to correct the mistake. If someone's wrong in a position, but you've hired them into a permanent role, there's a certain sunk cost already invested in the position. This represents a real cost of money, time, and – to be frank – ego.
You don't want what you've already paid to be a waste. You don't want the time invested to be a write-off. And you may not want to admit that you made a mistake right out of the gates. This can all lead an employer to giving someone too much time in a position where they clearly don't work, with the idea that they just need to see a little more before deciding.
With temp laborers, this kind of managerial procrastination isn't an issue. If someone doesn't work out, there's no sunk cost that you're tempted to follow through on. You can simply hire the next temp laborer. If they are a good fit, if their skills translate, and their attitude fits your company's atmosphere, then you can always hire them on later once you already know the investment is good.
Staffing options for skilled laborers can be somewhat limited if you're relying on in-house candidate searches. A temporary staffing agency has greater ability to bring in a range of ideal candidates. They have specialized laborers already on file, and they can conduct a thorough candidate search for very specific skill sets with immediacy.
You may not be able to get a job done as quickly as you'd like without an employee who has the right specialized skills. Conducting your own search takes time, whereas temp skilled laborers are already in regular contact with a staffing agency. This allows you to pull the best of these laborers in for whatever period of time suits you - and without making a longer commitment.
Temp laborers are hired through a staffing agency. Now, a staffing agency doesn't necessarily have access to better candidates. What they have is access to more candidates and the ability to quickly whittle those numbers down. Let's use an example:
Let's say one out of 10 candidates has the ideal skill set to work for you on a project. You pull 20 applicants who broadly meet your requirements. That means two will fulfill your specific needs, but for one the schedule doesn't work out and for the other, their personality is a bad match for your workplace. That means interviewing 20 people and choosing between someone not fully qualified or someone with a bad attitude.
A staffing agency can pull 100 candidates that fit your broad needs, which means they'll find 10 who fit your specific needs. Out of those, they can further narrow that number down by removing three whose schedules don't work and two with bad attitudes. That leaves five for you to interview who you already know will meet your standards of skill set, schedule, and personality.
Instead of interviewing 20 people and coming up with bad choices, the work is done for you on 100 candidates, and all it requires of you is to interview five people who are all good choices.
This is a broad example, but it gets the idea across. Access to numbers gives you more choice, and when you have choice in hiring, you will find much better people. In this case, this access to choice reduces the amount of legwork you have to do to get those hires, so you can see why staffing options such as temp laborers are so enduring and useful.
Construction and other labor-centered industries have ebbs and flows. You can predict some of these by year, situation, and season. The economy, natural disasters, and time of year impact your need for expansion and contraction in ways that are at least somewhat predictable. Then there are the ebbs and flows that are less predictable: whether you'll get a contract or someone else will, or whether you'll be sought out because of a prior relationship.
You don't want to turn down work if you're capable of doing it, and temp laborers can give you this capability. Without stretching yourself thin, you can supplement your regular workers with temp staffing options to be able to meet the needs of different jobs. When the season turns and you need to downscale again, you're not cutting permanent positions with benefits and other complexities. You're simply allowing a temp contract to run out, and the worker knows this well ahead of time.
For short-term expansion, you can hire on qualified, trained temp laborers. For long-term expansion you can treat some of these temp positions as on-the-job auditions. And when you need to contract, you've planned these cut costs ahead of time because of the natural length of the contracts involved.