Can a Temp Agency Solve Your Seasonal Hiring Needs?

A temp agency may give you access to the staff you need to run your business during a busy season. Here's a closer look at the pros and cons.

Employee retention, Employees

A temp agency may give you access to the staff you need to run your business during a busy season, while eliminating some of the challenges associated with hiring and managing additional workers.

According to American Staffing Association, temp agencies employ 15 million people every year. Working with a staffing agency can outsource the hiring process, give you access to a wide pool of talent, and let you focus on the critical elements of running your business. Here's a closer look at the pros and cons of working with an agency and how to choose one that's right for you.

Pros: Streamlining and Simplifying

Hiring for temporary roles is often time-consuming, but a temp agency takes care of the work involved. Agencies can fill all types of jobs, but remember to work closely with the agency to customize its job ad and vetting process to fill your unique needs. For example, if you need a clerk with experience in high-end fashion and personal shopping, it's critical to make sure you're getting top talent with those skills.

By using a temp agency for short-term vacancies, you can also eliminate some of the administrative burden of hiring and compensation. Typically, the employment agency takes charge of payroll, taxes, benefits and associated costs. Using a staffing agency may also eliminate some of the risk of unemployment claims, as you can terminate contracts when the need for certain roles is no longer pressing. Ask your agency for details about unemployment claims before you move forward with hiring temp help.

Cons: Lack of Cohesion and Communication

Outsourcing the hiring process can have its downsides. For example, the temp employee's loyalty is to the agency, not to your company. That can make it harder to build a cohesive team. Another issue is that you may invest time training a temp employee who is looking for a permanent job, and they move on before you're ready for them to go. And if you find a great employee you want to hire full time, an agency contract may require that you pay a fee or bond in order to receive permission to make a full-time hire.

Choosing the Right Staffing Agency

As with all vendors, vet your staffing agency partners carefully. Some factors to consider include:

  • Does the agency have a track record of recruiting talent in your space?
  • What kinds of support systems do they have in place? For example, if a hire doesn't work out, how quickly can they send another worker to fill the position?
  • What do they take care of in terms of administration, payroll and day-to-day management?
  • Does the agency offer a dedicated contact who can help you resolve staffing issues or other concerns?

Staffing agencies can eliminate the time-consuming process of hiring new staff and manage much of the administration associated with temporary employees. With help from the right agency, it's possible to develop a staffing plan to meet your business's needs during your busiest times of year.