Hire Permanent Employees or Use a Staffing Agency?

Who and how to hireHiring full or part-time, permanent employees isn’t the only way to go about filling an open position. It may be the most common – put up an ad, conduct interviews, make an offer – but there is another way to hire that many businesses choose to use: Temporary, Staffing Agencies.
These agencies do all the dirty work for you. They find the employees, screen them, decide if they’re a good match for your position, they pay them, and fire them (if necessary). They aren’t just used for low-wage workers either, as many believe. Staffing agencies regularly provide companies with professional, high salary workers.

While it’s nice to have someone else do the hiring, there are lots of other reasons why employers choose staffing agencies. There are also many reasons why employers don’t go through staffing agencies and possibly even why they shouldn’t. We’ll look at some of the reasons for and against hiring employees in-house or outsourcing with a temp agency.

Benefits of Temp Agencies to the Employer

  1. Manage workload and increase flexibility
  2. Fill temporary needs
  3. Let the agency do the hiring
  4. Try out employees before committing
  5. Decrease costs
  6. Avoid unemployment claims

1. Manage workload

When big orders come in or the busy season ramps up for a few months, you may not want to hire permanent employees to fill temporary needs. But you also don’t want to work your regular employees to the bone. Overworked employees get burnt out. They make mistakes. They get sick more often and can even suffer of depression. And then they quit. You want to keep your best employees happy so it might be a good idea to hire temporary help and take the load off your full-time employees. Temporary employees can help out with the work load in many ways, even filling gaps when employees take for time-off.

2. Try out an employee before committing

For important positions, you don’t want to hire the wrong person. You want to be sure that your new employee gels with your current staff. You want to know that the employee knows what she says she knows and can deliver. Hiring new employees, especially high salaried ones, can be risky. Temporary agencies can help take the risk out of hiring.

3. Decrease costs

Full-time employees get paid sick and vacation time and other types of benefits. Since the temporary employees are employed by the staffing agency, these employees don’t get benefits from your company. Temporary employees who are employed by the staffing agency cannot file unemployment claims when they are no longer needed at your company. Additionally, no one will have to spend much time hunting and hiring. This keeps human resources costs down.

Benefits of Temporary Employment to the Employee

  1. Stay-at-home moms get back into the workforce
  2. Employees change career direction
  3. Young workers find career path

1. Get back into the workforce

After years of not working, stay at home moms can have a hard time finding a job. They are viewed as inexperienced and behind in their previous field. Staffing agencies can give them the experience to get them back up to speed.

2. Change career direction

When an employee has been in one field for a long time, employers might not trust their abilities in another. But as a temp worker, employers may be more willing to take the risk.

3. Find chosen path

Employees also like trying out a company before making a long term commitment. Just like an employer, the employee wants to make sure that she’s a good fit. Staffing agencies give her the opportunity to do that.

Reasons to Avoid Staffing Agencies

Staffing agencies can be really useful for certain types of businesses and in certain situations. But they aren’t right for everyone and their are often dangers associated with them.

1. Maltreatment of employees

Some staffing agencies reportedly do not treat their employees well. Staffing agencies herd people into jobs without much thought for who they might hurt. This article describes how a careless agency led one man on, and eventually made him lose his job.

2. No field expertise

Hiring managers at staffing agencies may not be able to pick the right candidate, not having the skills of the department needing the employee. While they are trained to be able to hire outside of their expertise, they may miss certain signs that a member of the team would have caught.

3. Violation of labor laws

Staffing agencies are notorious for violating labor laws. While this is no doubt a violation of employee rights and that is nothing any decent employer wants to knowingly support, it is also something that the state of California will start prosecuting employers for. In the past, the staffing agency was responsible for violations, now the company using their services will be liable too.

“If a temp agency violates California labor law, the company that hired the temp agency could also be liable for those California employee violations.” – Lawyers & Settlements

Whether or not a staffing agency is right for a company depends on many factors and it is important to consider your options and needs and then carefully select the staffing agency. There are many to choose from and they aren’t all the same. Large agencies are not always able to recruit top talent. Finding a smaller agency may be better if you’re looking for professional employees. Additionally, there are agencies out there with labor lawsuits against them. Do a little research on the agency that you choose. Ask questions. Peruse their website. Google them. You definitely don’t want to use a staffing agency that mistreats and underpays its employees. It could backfire.

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