Like many people in this economy I was unemployed in 2009 at the height of the recession. As a new and inexperienced college graduate, I was unsure about how to go about finding a job, and simply applying to jobs online was getting me nowhere. So, I decided to ask for some advice. A friend who always seemed to be employed, said “have you ever worked a short term assignment?” At the time, I had no idea what a “short term assignment” really was or why it would be a good idea. To me, temporary work was a temporary fix!
I had been looking for a full-time role in my field for the previous 6 months with no luck, so I decided to try working a temporary assignment and see how it went. The next day I walked into a temporary placement firm and within the week I was placed on my first assignment. After a while I was working a variety of temporary assignments at different companies each week! After a while, I began to realize that even though the positions were not always in my field, the experience was invaluable!
All in all, I temped for one year. Looking back on these experiences, I have come to value the knowledge that I gained and the friends that I made along the way. Some of the advantages from working temporary assignments include: building my resume, learning how to work in a professional environment and networking, among other things. I will admit that being a temporary does not always guarantee that you will be working continuously, but what it does do is keep you in a polished, professional mind-set, while earning money. It also looks good to prospective employers, thereby increasing your chances of landing that illusive full-time direct-hire role!
Even today finding that full-time opportunity can still be a challenge! Although the recession is officially over, sadly there are still 12.3 million Americans who are currently struggling to find a job, let alone full-time employment. Part of the reason for this is because companies are still a little hesitant when it comes to taking on full-time employees, causing the number of full-time jobs to drop by 240,000 positions since the end of the recession. At the same time, more and more companies are hiring temporary employees to fill in the gaps, so much so, that these types of jobs have jumped 50 percent since the recession ended, to nearly 2.7 million in four years. The simple truth is that it is cheaper and less risky for companies to hire temporary workers versus full-time employees. This type of hiring arrangement allows companies to prosper without the costs and commitments associated with hiring full-time direct-hire employees.
Because of this, companies are turning to staffing firms to manage their temporary needs. So far this year about 17 million workers nationwide hold temporary positions and of that 2.7 million found temporary employment through job placement services. This is a staggering indication of just how indispensible staffing firms have become in today’s workforce. Staffing firms are a critical component to corporate growth strategies as well as an essential method for getting unemployed and under-employed individuals back to work! Since one of the main reasons that organizations engage the services of a Temporary Staffing Firm is convenience and “just-in-time” staffing help, it is no wonder that the temporary industry is one of the few bright spots in the nation’s employment picture. Staffing agencies simply have a better way of sourcing, screening, assessing and hiring talent that is faster and more efficient than most human resource departments.
However, not all staffing firms are created equal, as discussed in my previous article The Candidate Experience: Thumbs Up or Down! But how do you know which temporary employment agency to use? A good first step would be to see what is offered beyond the basics of sourcing, screening and assessing candidate resumes that every firm offers.
What other value is offered?
Founded in 1969, John Leonard Employment Services, Inc. has been a trusted resource for temporary placement for more than 40 years. After being a part of the John Leonard team for short time, I have come to realize that service to both client companies and client candidates is the key to our success. Although some might think that this opinion is biased, I can assure you that I call things as I see them. The difference between john Leonard and other Staffing Agencies (in my experience) is that they take pride in providing the best possible client experiences, but they don’t stop there!
Speed of Service
More often than not, when a need for a temporary employee arises, you needed them, well, yesterday! John Leonard has the advantage of having a massive database of prescreened, skills tested and reference checked candidates who are ready to go on assignment at a moment’s notice. Working as a team, each member of the temporary division supports each other’s voicemail and email so there is never a delay in assisting employers and candidates. Also, way before it became popular, we were the first service in Boston to offer S.W.A.T. - “Providing emergency help within minutes -- not hours.”
Consider this: John Leonard provides a 4 hour satisfaction guarantee that allows companies a no-charge window just in case an assigned Temporary Representative isn’t a good fit for their needs. While it’s rare, sometimes things do go wrong and we want to ensure that both our client companies and Temporary Representatives know we are always committed to their success.
Think about how your temporary staff is motivated beyond a paycheck. Are they being offered benefits? John Leonard offers their Temporary Representatives an extensive and generous benefit package. These benefits include Health (Blue Cross/Blue Shield), 401K, vacation bonus and holiday pay.
Do you want an assigned Temporary Representative who is productive from day one? At John Leonard, we are always here to advise and provide constructive feedback to our employees. We also provide resume creation/preparation assistance, preparation for interviews as well as also offering free computer software training so candidates can enhance their skills in a positive environment. Additionally when a temporary does a great job for us we make it our priority to do a good job for them, this means they are kept as busy as possible. Whenever possible we attempt to re-assign those individuals to client organizations where they have been previously rated highly. This rewards top performers and provides consistency to employers. Because we provide this personalized service we have no shortage of referrals from our highly satisfied candidates and clients which in turn provides an ever expanding talent pool from which to add to the employment rolls.
We believe that our approach to providing the best possible service to all of our clients makes John Leonard unique and stand out from the rest…but don’t take my word for it: come in and see for yourself!