Use Temps Wisely to Fill Workload Needs

If sales are up and you are expanding, you might be thinking of hiring more help. But if you think like many other small business owners, you’ll be cautious about taking on the additional overhead and long-term commitment of more full-time employees.

To test the waters, you might want to consider hiring temps until you are sure the growth wave will stick. Now the challenge becomes finding good temp candidates-people with the right skills and who really want temporary work.

Small companies, as well as large ones, are relying more and more on temporary workers these days for one key reason: flexibility. According to the American Staffing Association (ASA), there are about 2.3 million temp and contract workers in the U.S., and about 2,100 new temp jobs are being added every business day.

For small businesses seeking part-time or temporary help, temp agencies are a good way to go. They handle the sticky parts that you’d rather not deal with, such as advertising, recruiting, paperwork and other chores, leaving you more time to concentrate on other things. You’ll pay for that help, but most business owners find it an amicable trade.

If the work is of the type that needs supervision under your direct control, temps are probably better than independent contractors. Your odds of success are best if you use resources and solutions that specialize in placing temporary workers, rather than those that offer it as a sideline.

StaffSeek is a useful and free online service that can help you quickly find a temp staffing agency perfect for what you need. The site is run by The American Staffing Association (ASA), an employment industry trade group based in Alexandria, VA.

Select your state, the skills you need, including office, clerical, professional, health care, technical and industrial, and the type of arrangement you want, such as temp or temp-to-permanent, and click “search.” StaffSeek will deliver a list of agencies, locations, phone numbers and the types of employment placements they offer. ASA members operate over 15,000 offices nationwide.

Another option is Net-Temps.com, a Web site that specializes in placing temporary workers. The “Employers” section lets you post a job, search candidates or request help from staffing specialists. You can search a continuously updated supply of temp job seekers, locally, regionally or nationally.

Other leading firms offering temporary staffing solutions for small businesses include KellyServices.com, Manpower, Inc. and Olsten Staffing Services.

To learn more about human resources issues facing your small business, contact SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business.  SCORE Chicago is a nonprofit organization of more than 100 volunteer business counselors who provide free, confidential business counseling and training workshops to entrepreneurs and small business owners. You can set up an appointment at one of our 15 locations by clicking this link.  Check our website www.scorechicago.org for details on our workshops or resources on topics of interest.  Call 312-353-7724 for further information.

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