Pros and Cons of Temp vs. Temp-to-Hire

When it comes to hiring—even when we’re not in a pandemicthere are many X-factors. There’s cash flow, orders coming in and going out, variability in how big or consistent a job is, and just making sure the company stays on target for projects, to name just a few of the things business leaders need to think about when expanding their worker roster. 

Hiring full-time employees is expensive, so many leaders turn to temp workers, while others like the “try before you buy” temp-to-hire method. Both have their place within the professional ecosystem, but when it comes to choosing among what type of staff best fits, your business plan is critical. We laid out some of the pros and cons so that anyone considering hiring either temporary workers or temp to hire employees is armed with information that will help them make the best choice. 

But, first things first: 

What is a Temp Employee?

According to the Department of Labor, a temporary employee is a worker whose term of employment lasts less than a year. The employer and employee’s agreement usually consists of quick, defined work with a target end date. Sometimes, a temporary employee is hired to cover for a worker on parental or disability leave. Sometimes, temp workers are meant to fill gaps within a company’s workforce until headcount can be approved for a permanent position. Typically, they are not eligible for company benefits. 

Why Hire a Temp Employee?

If your company is considering hiring a temporary worker, there are always underlying reasons. These can include:

  • Workers taking long vacations 
  • Illness 
  • Maternity leave 
  • Disability leave 
  • Turnover 
  • Seasonal labor demands 

So why do companies hire temps? In short, temporary workers can fill a vacuum for a short time until the job is done or a more qualified worker fills a permanent spot. 

Staff On-Demand

If you’re in a position to take on new workers but are unsure if they’ll be needed for the long-term, this is a perfect solution. Staffing on-demand is useful because you can adjust the numbers of workers as needed. 

This new, pandemic-driven market is volatile, so instead of taking on the risk of hiring new, full-time workers, companies can get the help they need right now. Working with a company (like Adia) that harnesses the power of digital technology is a massive improvement to old school staffing and traditional temp staffing. We have a user-friendly platform with complete visibility into who’s being brought on to your job, what their background is, and where they are—essentially eliminating any guesswork on your end. 

Technology drives our lives, so why should staffing be any different? 

Save Time and Money

Trying to find the right full-time employee tends to be a lengthy, expensive process. 

According to Fast Company, the average time it takes to hire an employee is almost a month. In some industries, it may take even longer, depending on what skills are needed. Retail and service industry jobs have the shortest turnaround time with only 10 days, but no matter what, hiring and finding the right talent is time-consuming. On the other side of the coin, depending on the agency, finding work can also take a while. It’s a smart investment to look at the track record of the agency because placement can be an issue for both companies and workers

Trying to find the right worker isn’t cheap either. The Society for Human Resource Management states that the average cost to hire an employee is $4,129. Hiring temp workers is cheaper than hiring full-time workers. If a job will only last for a few months, or is on an as-needed basis, hiring temp workers is a more time and cost-effective solution.

If you’re working with an agency, or even better, a platform like Adia, the temp worker is not your employee. They’re ours. We’re responsible for the financial burden of all of the line items like recruiting, testing, hiring, payroll, and paperwork. That’s a lot less stress when you’re trying to get a specific project handled. And if you like one of our workers on a seasonal job, and want to keep them as a full-time employee, that’s totally okay. We can help make that happen.

Offer Full-Time Opportunities

Some businesses hire temp workers as a cost-efficient way to recruit and test new workers’ abilities before bringing them on full-time. 

Just because someone was brought on as a temp worker doesn’t mean they can’t join the team full-time. If there’s an undeniable fit, many temporary workers have been converted into hourly or salaried employees thanks to their hard work. Sometimes, just an energetic personality can make all of the difference in how a crew gets their jobs done, and most of the time, management will notice. 

Disadvantages of Hiring a Temp Employee

We’ve covered some of the pros of hiring a temporary employee, but what about the other side of the coin? Hiring isn’t always perfect, and there are things any boss should keep in mind when looking for help rounding out their staff. 

Morale is Uncertain

Morale can be an issue when temporary workers are placed alongside full-time employees receiving benefits and more money. Those feelings can fester and create problems. A scenario that may play out is regular employees looking down on temps as “outsiders,” which can create social divisions that bleed over into how work is—or is not—done. 

Extra Time is Spent Training 

Whenever there’s a new hirewhether full-time, part-time, or tempthere’s training. No matter how skilled or unskilled the worker, some basics will need to be covered to ensure they know how to perform their assigned tasks. This means someone will need to train the temp, which takes time away from their other duties. 

Reliability is Questionable

If you’re hiring temporary workers, there is the stigma that temporary workers are less reliable than their full-time counterparts. While this can be argued back and forth on a case by case basis, there will always be workers of both kinds who underperform. For the most part, it depends on how stringent the staffing agency or platform you’re working with is about their workforce quality. 

A couple of the biggest issues with temporary workers include a high turnover rate and the dreaded no call, no show. And when there’s work to be done, not getting the work handled means constantly scrambling to make sure things keep moving. According to the American Staffing Association, turnover for temporary workers was a whopping 294% – that’s a TON of people not answering the phone for work. (With Adia, our community of workers is so strong we have 50% fewer no shows than a traditional staffing agency.)

When choosing a partner to work with for staffing needs, it’s essential to look at track records, user feedback, and get metrics and data to understand the impact one company has over another. When the Coronavirus hit, we helped place thousands of workers nationwide at some of the country’s biggest grocery stores. We could have never pulled that off without our robust infrastructure but also by having a rock-solid network of vetted, experienced workers who were ready to take on any challenge. That made the difference and continues to make one as new companies choose to work with Adia. 

What Does Temp-to-Hire Mean?

While temp workers help business owners fill labor force gaps during times of need—and offer workers temporary gigs offer a short-term opportunity to make money—there are other avenues for companies to bring in workers to get the help they need. Whether it’s for a short project or in an ongoing business relationship a temp to hire worker might be the right solution for your company. But what does temp to hire mean?

A temp to hire gig is similar to a seasonal or temp gig, but it typically comes with a set period after which the company typically intends to convert to a full-time hire. That set period is very much probationary; it’s meant for the worker to show off their hard work for the opportunity to become a full-time worker once their contract ends or the company chooses to buy the worker out of their agreement with the staffing agency or platform. 

Advantages of Using Temp-to-Workers

One of the biggest booms for temp-to-hire contracts is during the holiday season. Hiring temporary help with the possibility of coming on full-time is a great scenario for both the company and the worker. The relationship allows for worker development, but also gives the company a clear perspective on the kind of worker they could potentially be getting. But what else can the company expect? 

Save Time and Money

Similar to hiring normal temp employees, temp to hire is also more time and cost-effective than traditional hiring. temp to hire also allows you to make sure that your next hire is a perfect fit; it is the perfect “try before you buy” scenario. If the candidate isn’t working out, a reputable staffing agency should help find someone else who meets your needs. temp-to-hire recruiting makes for a better chance of making quality hires.

Evaluate Performance with Minimal Commitment

Another perk of this approach is the company is allowed to do their homework in real-time. There’s plenty of time to try things and challenge the worker to see how they perform. If it’s not a fit, there’s no pressure. If anything, the position is comparable to an internship. This is also helpful because if someone’s work experience isn’t that great, but they wow you with their work ethic and performance, you’ve managed risks for the company while ultimately benefiting the team. Low risk, high reward. 

Boost Morale  

If your full-time staff is swamped, bringing in help to lighten the load is always appreciated. When your core team is forced to work doubles, work nights, and come in on weekends, morale can drop quickly. No one wants to take on the extra work on top of their already busy schedule. Employee burnout is rising, and that can hurt the team even more during a busy period.

There’s also the worker to keep in mind, too. Some of these folks might have been out of work for a long time, but they’re picking up jobs as they become available. Someone who’s been after a full-time position and then is offered one from a company they like working for is a big win for everyone, and it also continues to help create a positive environment. 

What Are the Drawbacks of Temp-to-Hire Workers?

While there are many advantages of hiring a temp to hire worker, there are a few disadvantages that should be touched on, too. 

Contract Fees

Employers should keep in mind that if you find a worker that you love, you may have to pay a buyout fee to the staffing agency or wait until the end of the contract. This can be anywhere from one to six months, but can sometimes be even longer. The cost of a buyout fee is typically 20-25% of that worker’s first year salary. There also needs to be a documented invoice for legal purposes, too. It’s a delicate balance because if you move too slow, the worker might move onto another role elsewhere

Legal Risks

Businesses need to be careful about how they handle their contractors and temporary staff. New laws like California’s AB5 are popping up, so worker status and the lack of eligibility for permanent employee benefits need to be crystal clear through the duration of the contract. It’s also worth keeping in mind that temporary workers should be treated with the same level of respect, minimizing any chance for a discrimination lawsuit or worse. 

Lack of Teamwork

Teamwork is enormous, and, in some cases, temporary workers don’t have the time to have that “moment” with a coworker where they bond. Instead, they’re brought in to help for a clearly defined project that the team would have preferred been completed “yesterday.” 

Some workers might be resentful of interlopers. You may also have some full-time staff hesitant to invest the necessary time and training into a crewmember they know will be gone soon. This may also be the case with the temp staffer, too. Some may not act fully invested because it’s “just a job.” Building up morale and camaraderie takes time, and in some temp to hire cases, it’s not an immediate fix. 

Hire Temp Employees with Adia – On-Demand Staffing Platform

No matter what your hiring situation looks like, whether you’re looking for temp staff or workers that are temp to hire, we can help. The Adia platform is built to help companies get work done with its intuitive design and ease of use, but most importantly, our worker pool is 10X bigger than that of a traditional staffing agency. Because we’re a digital platform, we’ve taken on some of the best things you love about tech – it’s user friendly, easy to keep track of return on investment, and all of our workers are vetted and experienced.  

Everyone is hired as a W-2 employee, so using Adia can be a workaround for businesses that need an employer of record. And using Adia can be written off as a business expense because we’re a technology platform.

We help businesses who need an extra set of hands in warehousing, hospitality, event staff, and more. A company in need can set the hourly wage and the hours needed, and we’ll get the jobs filled in real-time. Everything is controlled via our platform, which can be accessed through your smartphone, laptop, or tablet – it’s as simple as just a few clicks.

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