The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that only 80,000 payroll jobs were added in June 2012. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf
What is startling is that temporary jobs accounted for over 30% of these new jobs continuing a trend of significant increases in temporary hiring over the last several years. Based on these trends, those looking for work today should certainly consider taking a temporary position. Not only are there significant numbers of temporary jobs but these jobs can at best lead to a permanent position and at least beef up the job seeker’s resume’.
In the past, temping may have conjured up an image of an administrative, low- level kind of job. Not so anymore. Today’s temporary jobs are often very high skilled. In fact, skilled temporary jobs in such fields as health care, technology, engineering, science, law and accounting are expected to account for 52% of all temporary job revenue in 2012 according to Staffing Industry Analysts, a research and advisory firm. As further evidence of the highly skilled nature of today’s temping, Career Builder’s current job postings include temporary positions for physical and occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, industrial maintenance technicians and mechanics, network engineers, Java developers and business analysts.
Besides being highly skilled, today’s temping job no longer carries the stigma of the past. Americans by an overwhelming margin now view temping favorably and as a good option for the unemployed according to a recent survey by EmploymentGroup, a staffing services firm. In fact, according to this survey, 80% of those aged 55 or older agree that a temp job adds value to a resume’.
Even though temporary jobs have become much more common , they do have some drawbacks for the employee:
1) According to a recent U.S. General Accountability Office report, temporary workers are less likely to have health insurance or retirement benefits; PLEASE GIVE ME THE URL FOR THE REPORT. IT WOULD BE IDEAL IF YOU COULD CITE SPECIFIC STATS—SOMETHING LIKE ONLY TK% OF TEMP WORKERS ARE OFFERED HEALTH INSURANCE OR ARE ELIGIBLE FOR EMPLOYER-SPONSORED RETIREMENT PLANS.
2) Temporary workers are often paid less than full time workers for a comparable job; ARE THERE ANY STATS ON HOW MUCH LESS OR A QUANTIFIABLE EXAMPLE FOR ONE FIELD?
3) It’s difficult for temporary workers to develop their career in the same way that is possible for a full time employee (i.e being promoted or provided development training) ;
4) By its very nature, a temporary job has little job security. A temp may be hired to cover a worker out for maternity leave for six weeks, to work on a project expected to last six months or even for an indefinite assignment where the employer simply isn’t sure that the work will continue and there fore doesn’t want to commit to a permanent employee. In any event, the temp has little job security as once the assignment is over, the temp loses their job; and
5) People with temporary jobs may not be as engaged with their work. According to research by Tom Rath, author of Vital Friends: The People You Can’t Afford to Live Without, people who have a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged with that work. Due to the short term nature of the assignment, a temporary worker may struggle to form friendships at work which can effect job satisfaction.
Even with these drawbacks, there are several reasons why a temporary job can be a good way to find full time employment today.
1) A temporary job is better than no job. According to a recent survey by CareerBuilder and Harris Interactive, this year, 36 percent of companies say they will hire contract or temporary workers. That figure is up from 34 percent for 2011, 30 percent for 2010, and 28 percent for 2009. So a temporary job may be easier to get than a fulltime job and any job is better than no job.
2) It’s easier to get a job when you have a job. Those unemployed for a significant period of time rightfully worry that they will become increasingly unemployable as employers look first to those with current jobs (and therefore presumably up to date job skills). Peter Capelli Professor of Management of the Wharton School of Business says “to get a job, you have to have that job already. It’s a Catch-22 situation for workers”. A temporary job looks just like any other job on a resume’ (there is no reason to indicate on a resume’ that it is a temporary position).
3) A temporary job can turn into a full time job. According to CareerBuilder’s research, 35 percent of the companies that are hiring temporary or contract workers this year have plans to hire them on a permanent basis. If a permanent job opens, it makes sense that a company would first consider a well- vetted and well- liked temp who is already up to speed over hiring a complete unknown.
In fact, Kim Dube’-Sena agrees with this. She is the Senior Recruiter for KAO USA, a large multi-national (KOA owns brands like Jergens, Curel and John Freida). Dube’-Sena emphasized that “hiring someone who started out as a temp is advantageous for us as an organization, because we are already familiar with their skill sets and they have already developed relationships with our employees.”
There are easy practical tips for turning a temporary job into a fulltime job.
For example, a temporary worker should constantly monitor the employer’s website for open positions. This seems obvious but surprisingly many temps incorrectly assume that they will be informed if a position opens. By the time they find out, the position could be filled. Other very good suggestions on turning a temp job into a full-time job can be found in these two articles.
However, experts caution against expecting temporary jobs to turn into full-time positions according to Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute. In a recent Fortune Magazine article on Temping Trends, Shierholz stated “Temporary help is really cyclical, governed by business cycles. When unemployment is still high and continuing, there is not a lot of pressure to create or convert those jobs to permanent status.” For the full article click here http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/05/05/the-rise-of-the-permanently-temporary-worker/
4) A temporary job creates a natural network to job search . While employed in a temporary position, a worker has the opportunity to meet others on the job who can be called upon to provide access to their networks. Simply expanding the network of connections to whom there is a direct connection (by means of a personal introduction), can be a huge benefit in today’s job search. The typical hiring manager has only three seconds to glance at a resume’ that arrives with no connection, so a personal introduction is all the more important to getting a thorough consideration. If introductions to a co-worker’s network is the goal, a temp must make it a point to get to know co-workers on a personal level, not always the easiest of tasks for a temp.
Finding a Temporary Job
Certain temp skills are in hotter demand (IT professionals and even surprisingly truck drivers). Even administrative assistants, particularly with bilingual skills have many temporary jobs to choose from according to this recent article .
When looking for a temporary job, many typical job search tactics apply- such as having a proper resume’ and using networking and online job websites to find jobs. There are always listings for temporary help on the major career websites like CareerBuilder and Monster. Also, there are several firms that specialize in temporary staffing in each city. The largest temporary placement firms are listed below and it’s important to check out each of their websites when job searching to see if there are jobs listed in your city and your field.
- Adecco www.adecco.com;
- Manpower www.manpower.com,
- Kelly Services www.kellyservices.com;
- Olsten www.olsten.com; and
- Interim Services www.interim.com.
- Randstad www.us.randstat.com (this firm also has international jobs)
Also, several staffing firms specialize in finding flexible work for professionals. While each firm defines “flexible” in its own way, it can mean short term projects, working 9-2 each day or even working from home. If flexibility is desired, these websites can be helpful.
- Flexible Executives offers seasoned vetted professionals across a wide range of business disciplines on an as needed basis. www.flexibleexecutives.com
- Momcorps is a professional staffing firm that specializes in flexible workplace arrangements. www.momcorps.com
- Ten till two calls itself “the part-time placement firm”. www.tentilltwo.com
- Recently formed, Lease-An-Exec does just what its name suggests. It was started according to its owner because he felt that the over 50 downsized executive could be beneficial for smaller companies who may not be able to afford a full time executive at that level. http://www.lease-an-exec.com/
- Aquent, for temporary marketing, creative and digital placements. www.aquent.com
- Staffing Industry Analysts publishes an annual list of the best staffing firms for employees.
So if you are looking for work, today it is imperative to consider taking a temporary position. As Dube’-Sena of KOA USA says, “I do think that someone should consider temping when looking for a full time role because traditionally it’s easier to get in the door as a temp. At that point, every day becomes a chance for the person to show the company what they bring to the table. It’s a win-win for both the employee and the company.”