In the business world, filling niches is the name of the game. If there’s a need and someone is willing to pay to take care of it, a business, service, or even an entire occupation will come into existence to fill that need and gain the profits available for doing so. While many things have been said about temporary and seasonal employees, the fact of the matter is that your business’ needs are not always evenly distributed over the twelve months. Just like you can’t force the holiday retail rush to spread out over the year or ask kids to take their summer vacations in dozens of long weekends instead, you can’t change the fact that sometimes you need more employees than you do at other times in the year.
Of course, why stop at filling a need when you can turn your temporary employees into a collection of fantastic benefits and opportunities for them and your business. The usefulness of temporary talent goes so far beyond simply filling seats that some companies are even hiring a few temporary employees each year even if they don’t have an inherently seasonal business.
1) Access to Skills When You Need Them
The biggest benefit of temporary employment is the ability to access talent and skills when you need them and not when you don’t. Consider the task of upgrading your payroll software and transferring all the old information out of your old system and onto the new one. You will probably want a combination of technicians and accountants working together to make this transfer but once it’s done and your regular team understands the new system, you don’t need the specialists anymore. The temporary employee arrangement allows you to hire who you need when you need them and allows the talented employees you hire to go where they’re needed next.
2) Saving Money with Strategic Hiring
The other half of the skills when you need them benefit is followed by and not when you don’t. If you full-time hire everyone you would need for the busy season, you will not only be terribly over-staffed during the slower months. Your revenue will also drain away into salary and benefits for employees you simply don’t need all year long. By strategically determining when you need extra help and when you don’t, the company saves a lot of money that would be better spent on growth, quality improvement, or finding a few very high-quality permanent hires.
3) Covering for Staffing Gaps
While people like to think of business as running ‘like a well-oiled machine’, in reality, every business is made up of people. People almost never hold the same job position for twenty years and you can always guarantee that you will eventually have to fill the slot. People get promoted, transferred, change careers, are pulled away by family events, and everyone retires eventually. Even if a star employee has simply been sent on a long business trip to another location, a talented temporary employee can help you fill gaps in your team while you either look for a new permanent hire or while the missing team member wraps up their business elsewhere.
4) Teaching Your Team Something New
It is a common misconception that ‘temp workers’ are unskilled but anyone who’s hired a temporary accountant or technician knows there’s a big difference between the stereotype and reality. Often, your business requires temporary employees for incredibly skilled work that requires both expertise and precision. In many cases, your team can learn a lot from the seasonal specialists you bring in each year to improve your business functions, temporarily increase efficiency, and accommodate challenging circumstances. The tricks and techniques brought in by your temporary hires can be learned by permanent employees to improve your business in the long-term as well as for the few months the temporary talent is with you.
5) Opportunities for Great Permanent Hires
Finally, there’s no law written or unwritten that says you can’t hire your temporary employees as permanent ones if you really like them. If someone works fantastically well in your team, has all the right skills, and their attitude meshes perfectly with your company culture, you have every reason to extend the offer for permanent employment to temporarily hired talent. This is a great way to try out employees in the workplace without a long-term commitment and to give them a chance to try out your working environment as well. When a match is right, why not make it permanent?
Temporary employees are often one of the best decisions you can make for your company, especially if you tend toward busy and slow seasons or work tends to pile up until it all needs to be done over the course of a few months near the end of the fiscal year. For more great tips and trends in temporary employment, contact us today!