Welcome to www.comprofessor.com a.k.a. Lynch Coaching: Media and Communication Prof's News and Views from Art Lynch. This blog exists to stimulate critical thinking, provide information on communication and media, stimulate discussion and share ideas. For additional media and other news see also sagactoronline.com. Thank you and tell your friends. - Art Lynch
applicants outside the Staffmark temp agency in Cypress, Calif., in
2005. Temp hiring is usually a harbinger of an improving job market, but
some analysts say more employers may be considering temps as a more
permanent staffing solution.
While the job market remains sluggish, temporary
work is one area that's done very well in the economic recovery.
Companies are keeping their temps longer and are even using them to fill
professional and high-ranking positions.
average daily number of temporary workers employed during the first
quarter of 2012 was more than 2.5 million. That's up from a low of 2.1
million in early 2009, according to the American Staffing Association.
work was once considered a leading indicator for the job market — a
harbinger of improved prospects for people seeking permanent positions.
But in this recovery, staffing agencies say fewer employers are taking
temps onboard as permanent workers.
More Opportunities, At Higher Ranks
is clear that companies are using temp and contract workers — and
unfortunately not making those permanent hires — at this point," says
Joanie Ruge, senior vice president and chief employment officer for the
temp agency Randstad Holding.
Temp Employment On The Rebound
May and June 2012 figures are preliminary.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Credit: Angela Wong
"Because there's still some uncertainty and
[companies are] wondering if the economic conditions are sustainable,
this offers them some good flexibility," Ruge says.
temp positions have also been associated with clerical and
manufacturing jobs. But that's also shifting in the current economy. One
of the biggest growth areas in temping, Ruge says, is high-skilled
work: engineering, information technology, pharmaceuticals, accounting
And employers are even hiring
temps for jobs in the higher ranks. Ruge says professional positions
make up about half of Randstad's business.
Schultz has been acting comptroller or chief financial officer for
various companies on a temporary basis for more than a decade — by
Schultz says companies thinned out
their chief officer ranks — or their "C-suites" — during the recession.
Now that the economy is recovering, there's more demand for mergers and
acquisition work, he says, but not quite enough to justify a full-time
A 'Sea Change'
And, Schultz says, it may be that many businesses will never fully hire back their executive bench.
feeling is that it's a permanent change," Schultz says. "It's a sea
change that we're seeing more activity in that interim C-suite area."
Normally, the pattern with temp work is that it is cyclical: It goes up when the economy is good, and down when it's bad.
during leaner times, companies experiment with their workforce and
sometimes make permanent changes, according to Nik Theodore, director of
the Center for Urban Economic Development and a professor at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
Some owners say they've learned to make do with less and are unlikely to add many workers.
"There's something more happening here,"
Theodore says. "I think temping is becoming a more important feature of
employers' workforce strategies, and a bigger part of the careers of
Companies use temps because they
can pay fewer benefits, take on fewer legal responsibilities and fire
them easily, Theodore says.
But those perks for the employer usually come at a cost to the worker.
temp jobs are often disconnected from the career pathways and job
ladders that exist within a company," making it harder for workers to
move up, Theodore says.
for people like TaShea Mosley, 23, working as a temp is one of the few
ways to get her foot in the door in a down economy. She wasn't able to
find a full-time job, so she started temping as an administrative
assistant through Manpower earlier this year.
only thing that differentiates me from anyone is that my badge is
different," Mosley says. "They treat me as though I am a full-time
employee, actually. I just don't have all the benefits of being one."
says she loves her current posting and hopes to be hired on
permanently. The company has a hiring freeze, but she's hoping her job
performance will earn her the security of a permanent position.
you're a temp, it's more like you're disposable," the Atlanta resident
says. "One day you can have a job, and the next day you can't. So it's
always kinda like a little bit of a Russian roulette; you never know if
it's going to be your time to go or not."