Another sign of economic spring

April 15, 2010
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A smidgeon of good news has been buried in local job numbers for the past couple of months, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll see a full-throated trend developing when March figures are released Friday.

Temporary workers are being called back. January was the first month since February 2008 when more temps were on the job in the Indianapolis area than in the same month a year earlier, and February repeated the performance. The upswing started at the state level a month earlier.

Manufacturers, warehouses and other industries like hiring temps because they can unload them quickly if the economic recovery falters. Permanent manufacturing workers who survived the recession have been racking up overtime for a few months, and bringing in temps is the next step before resorting to permanent hires.

Don’t mistake the temp uptick as anything huge. There were only 29,400 of them on the job locally in February, the fewest for the month since 2004.

But it’s improvement.

Any thoughts about temp workers? They occasionally complain they’re not treated the same as permanent employees. Would you agree?

  • Treatment of Temps
    Temps are treated differently than full time employees for two very different reasons. The first reason is that they are not employees of the company on whose property they work, they are employees of the staffing company. Legal obligations around co-employment prevent treating temps and FTEs the same.

    The second reason is unfortunate and the reason for stigmas that have been created over the years. Many FTEs feel threatened by talented temporary staff and therefore make sure they put the "temps" in their place. They take every chance they get to remind the temps that they can't go to company outings, take paid vacation, etc. This is unfortunate and not common, but it happens and we prefer not to partner with these companies for that obvious reason. Temporary employees are a great way to augment your staff or ease the burden on HR to find niche employees. Everyone has been talking about "outsourcing" and how that is a great strategy to grow your business and pay for only what you need for short projects. Hiring temporary employees can provide this same kind of benefit, we are just waiting for everyone to realize it.

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