Subadhra Sriram's Blog

Finally, A Better Rep

Respect has been hard won for the staffing industry. It’s come a long way from the often derogatory epithet: “temp”.  But it took many years and a recession that brought an entire world to its knees before corporate America shifted to valuing this workforce as a strategic tool as opposed considering it a necessary evil.  Staffing firms can pat themselves on the back.

And a recent survey published by Staffing Industry Analysts bears this out.

Representatives of nearly 200 companies with 1,000 or more employees participated. These end users of contingent labor were asked which solution was best when it came to cost, legal risk, time to fill, availability of talent and quality of workers. They could choose from agency temporary workers, independent contractors, internal temp pools and statement of work consultants.

A majority of them said that agency temps were the preferred type of contingent labor with respect to cost, time to fill and availability of talent, and almost half said that agency temps were best with respect to legal risk. These results held true for most buyer types.

That makes sense. Staffing firms have the databases of talent, whereas a typical company wouldn't have such a large resource. Staffing firms' main function is to place workers, and they have the process perfected. As a result, they save hiring managers time, leaving them free to focus on their core competency.

And with the worker being the employee of the staffing firm, the company avoids misclassification risk, and gains other protections, such as with workers' comp, (http://www.staffingindustry.com/site/Research-Publications/Blogs/Subadhra-Sriram-s-Blog/Co-employment-Is-Not-A-Dirty-Word). An IC might file a claim with the IRS or related agencies in order to get reclassified to claim unemployment or workers' comp following an injury or job completion. But with an agency worker, there are no such issues. Besides, agency workers come with a “try before you buy” option, ensuring that if a customer does hire them, it’s after they have been tried and tested.

Given the economic times we live in, turnover is not something any company wants to deal with. Today, customers are demanding from their staffing partners solutions that would help their companies manage the whole talent supply chain. It is no longer just about finding and placing a temporary worker.

The wheel has turned.

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