Recruiting and Staffing, Talent Management

Here’s Why You Should be Thanking Your Temps This Week

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If you haven’t already thanked your temps and contract workers, go do it now.

Why should you? Besides it being a thoughtful thing to do, it also happens to be National Staffing Employee Week. And should you not be able to do your thank yous in person, the American Staffing Association, which created this week of recognition, has a few suggestions here.

Email the one that says,

You are stellar.

Thank you for your luminous contributions
to our company’s cosmos.”

Huge jump in the temporary workforce

National Staffing Employee Week has a special significance this year, since the staffing industry is one of the strongest job creators nationally. In the last 12 months, the staffing workforce has grown almost 9 percent, while all employed workers have increased only 1.4 percent.

While temping may once have been a way to pay the bills until a permanent job came along, today’s staffing employees are just as likely to prefer the variety of project work, to say nothing of the flexibility temping provides.

National Staffing Employee of the Year Chris Hoover said that’s what attracted him to work as a contractor. “One thing I liked about contract work was that I got to work on so many different projects,” he said in a magazine article shortly after he was selected for the honor.

Hoover, a web graphics designer hired to a permanent position after working as a JCPenney contractor for two years, is typical of the new breed of temp. Professional, highly skilled, and driven by the desire for interesting, challenging work, many temps now see contract work as an opportunity to ‘test-drive’ a variety of employers and jobs.

This kind of project-driven freelancing is not limited to IT, but is a growing trend across the spectrum of information occupations. You can read the Fordyce post about it here.

A $110 billion industry

It won’t be long — assuming the forecasts are correct — that a significant part of the workforce will be contingent. These jobs will pay as well or even better than a permanent position. Even today, the average temp earns $12 an hour, and often has benefits, including retirement. Those with special skills such as in IT, or health care, accounting or law, earn two or three times that.

The thousands of staffing firms, most small, specialty practices operating locally, add up to a $110 billion industry, which has a workforce now nearly as large as it did when the recession began. Not many other industries can say that.

As you prepare to go thank your temps, think of the effort you put into sourcing and recruiting them. Now go tell them they’re stellar.

John Zappe is the editor of The Fordyce Letter. He was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. Never a recruiter, he instead built online employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Besides writing for ERE.net, John consults with digital content operations, focusing on the advertising side. Contact him at zappemedia@gmail.com.