Subadhra Sriram's Blog

Learning the Temp Lesson

Everybody’s getting it finally. Even government is waking up to the advantage of using temporary labor. The quiet boom in education/library staffing is proof of that. “It’s a classic case of taking advantage of specialization through outsourcing. School administrators are learning that there are efficiencies involved in using staffing firms to manage their substitute teacher needs,” says Jon Osborne, VP Strategic Research, Staffing Industry Analysts.

The 1.9 billion education and library segment is the fastest growing area of temporary staffing. We project 12 percent growth (page 15) in 2014 for the entire segment, which also includes staffing of higher education professionals.  

Growth in this segment notwithstanding, the environment today is becoming broadly more encouraging toward the use of contingents according to another survey we conducted. 

The top factors motivating the use of contingent work among buyers include: variable workload levels, lower risk with “try before you buy”, and rapid business growth. Over the last decade there has been general improvement among buyers who find certain factors more encouraging towards the use of temps, suggesting greater acceptance of temp labor usage.  In fact, it goes one step further beyond acceptance.  In many cases we see very savvy use of temp labor providing greater efficiencies as well as cost savings.

The degree to which some factors encouraged or discouraged use of contingent labor varied by firm size and by primary purchase. For example, larger buyers were more likely to be motivated to use contingent workers to accommodate variable or unpredictable demand. They also reported that their organizational culture was more likely to promote use of contingent labor. However, large buyers were relatively more discouraged by contingent learning curve issues than were smaller buyers.

Are you a savvy user? Do you plan to use more temps. Tell us below.


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