Skilled Worker Agencies
Skilled worker agencies popularly referred to as Temporary employment agencies or temporary staffing agencies – provide workers through short-term contracts or indefinite temporary positions to a variety of businesses. Temporary employment agencies perform many of the duties of the human resources department of a company from the employer’s point of view. Still, they may be able to do so more efficiently and have access to a broader pool of applicants. Workers see temporary agencies as a place that will place them in a job, even in a challenging job market. Besides, a temporary job can be a foot in the door leading to a permanent position. Temporary agencies are sometimes seen as a last resort, a place to find low-wage jobs for unskilled workers. Today, however, temporary agencies are specializing in providing highly qualified contract workers in fields such as medicine, technology, publishing and engineering. These agencies offer both employers and employees flexibility. These agencies, however, have their detractors. Temporary employment agencies are seen as cost-cutting measures that encourage companies to use staff without offering vacation time, health insurance or other benefits. Researchers argue this trend leads to job security loss in contemporary labour markets.
A temp agency can play many roles, but the process works like this mainly:
- The agency has a pool of workers who come to seek jobs at the agency.
- The agency screens workers, weeding out inappropriate applicants and determining what skills they possess the workers they hire.
- An employer in need of temporary workers is entering into an agency contract. The contract defines the types of workers the employer is looking for, the cost of working per hour, and other details.
- The company selects employees from its pool of workers with the required skills and transfers them to the new temporary employer.
- The agency pays an hourly salary to the workers.
- Based on all the hourly wages given to the workers, the employer pays the temp agency, plus an additional fee to cover the costs of the agency.
Employers who use temp agencies have several advantages. They cut drastically the amount of time and effort required for screening applications and job candidates to be interviewed. Imagine a company that has just won a new contract to produce electronic components, but it’s a short-term contract that only lasts three months. Finding and hiring skilled workers to build the components could take weeks, which is very inefficient. A temp agency allows the company to add the necessary staff quickly and would (ideally) already have qualified personnel to build electronics waiting for work. While most businesses don’t like to admit it, temp workers also save them money because they can put them to full-time work without providing benefits like health insurance or paid vacation time.
Temp agencies also have their benefits for employees. Depending on his or her skills, submitting your CV to a temp agency can give a worker access to dozens of potential jobs. It is much more useful than applying for multiple jobs and interviewing them. Many companies also use temporary agencies to assess employees before giving them a permanent full-time position. That means that temporary agencies can provide workers with access to permanent jobs that they would not be able to get otherwise.
There are several factors to consider if your company is thinking of using a temp agency. Need a plentiful supply of unskilled workers for a high turnover job? Are you looking for a couple of highly skilled technical workers? It may be best to contract with several temp agencies to ensure access to all the workers you need for a high volume of workers. Working with a single agency alone, however, can sometimes enable you to negotiate a discount on the fee for the agency. If your temp needs are more modest or specialized, the building of a relationship with a single agency may have other advantages. In rare cases, for a temp agency, a separate contract can become so important that it has a full-time liaison at the facility of the client company to supervise the time.
The actual cost of hiring a temporary contractor to provide staff varies greatly. It will depend on the jobs that are filled (unskilled jobs such as the primary office or light industrial work pay less than technical roles), the cost of living in the region, the specific standards and fee structure of the agency, and discounts or deals that are worked out as part of the contract. Employers always pay full-time salaries, plus a certain percentage above that. A successful temp agency is going to be upfront about the terms of wages and charges, so you know exactly what you get paid.
Once you have been accepted into the workforce of the company, one or more positions will be provided that will suit your skills if there is one available immediately. There may be a gap of several days or weeks until something opens up — the more common your skills or the roles you are willing to work, the easier it is to find something that suits you. Generally, the temp agency sets your pay rate, and it pays you directly. If you try to turn the temp position into a permanent full-time job with the employer assigned to you, you can talk to the company about that. Nevertheless, temp-to-perm roles are often managed by the temp agency itself — the boss at the agency will clarify how this is done. The actual cost of hiring a temporary contractor to provide staff varies greatly. It will depend on the jobs that are filled (unskilled jobs such as a basic office or light industrial work pay less than technical jobs), the cost of living in the region, the specific standards and fee structure of the agency, and discounts or deals that are worked out as part of the contract. Employers always pay full-time salaries, plus a certain percentage above that. A successful temp agency is going to be upfront about the terms of wages and charges, so you know exactly what you get paid.