Taking on a temp staff

Due to the pressure
of global economic downturn, many companies have looked for ways to cut their
costs as business has gone down. For many, this has meant reducing their staff
in order to better match reduced labour demands. This is especially true in industries
where an ‘off-season’ can make many staff redundant for at least part of the

However, when
business picks up again, it can be tough to find the necessary staff to pick up
the slack.

According to Lindsey
Gordon of SteppingStones, temping services play an important role in
‘just-in-time’ management practices.

“Companies have the
staff when they need them without the fixed costs of permanent labour,” said

As long as the
company can provide a description of the role and responsibilities of the
position, an effective recruitment company can provide an employer with
candidates who have the skills and experience to match the job. An experienced
recruitment company will also be able to find a candidate who should be able to
match the company culture ensuring a good fit. Using a recruitment firm to
provide a temporary worker for a position saves the employer the hassle of
going through a time-consuming interview process for a short term appointment
to fill in for someone on maternity leave or similar instances.

Utilising a temp
agency can also provide a company with staff at much shorter notice, as there
is no need for the candidate to progress through the work permit application
process. The temp agency holds a work permit for the employee and therefore
once a suitable and available candidate has been selected, the person can start
working for the company immediately. This can make it much easier for small and
medium enterprises to take on larger jobs on short notice, as the company’s
staff can be expanded as needed and on short notice.

Agencies will always
give an employer the option to interview candidates for the position. The
decision on whether or not to interview will often depend on the nature and
duration of the position. However, in some cases an interview may not be
required, for example when the appointment is for a basic administrative
position or a very short period of time.

How long it takes
between a company approaching an agency with their requirements and getting a
candidate in place at the company will depend on the nature of the position and
how quickly the staff member is needed.

“We have had temps
start with employers within an hour of the initial call to SteppingStones. If
we need to collect the temp and take them to the employer to get them there
quickly then that’s what we do,” said Milly Serpell, managing director of

With seasonal
fluctuation in business, hiring temporary staff can also make managing a
business much easier. When planning for the next calendar year, it is possible
for a company to go with a conservative estimate of the number of staff
required, rather than appoint too many employees in the belief that business
will pick up. A company can hire staff based on current requirements and
supplement with temporary staff as the need arises.

“Temporary members of
staff know that they are there only to fill a short-term need, however if the
position extends and a more permanent opportunity arises then both the company
and the temp have had the chance to determine whether or not the fit is right,”
said Gordon.

Due to the current
economic climate, many skilled professionals are turning to temporary
employment agencies as well.

“With an increase in
the number of qualified and skilled professionals in the market over the past
12- 18 months, many more people have used temping as either a stop-gap between
permanent positions or as a way to get their foot in the door with a
prospective employer,” said Serpell.

Although it has often
been expatriate workers who have joined temp agencies in the hope of getting a
foot in the door, it is also an excellent tool for anyone looking to gain
experience and find an organisation that will be a good fit.

“While temping may
not have been a traditional route into employment for Caymanians, we have had a
great deal of success with people going from temp roles into permanent
positions at all levels from junior level roles to senior professionals.”