Take Advantage of the Outsourcing Trend

Dear, Anita,

I’ve seen in a couple of different places that 33% of businesses will be outsourcing employment. Is this why I can’t find work? Are all the good jobs going overseas? Do I have to give up stability and benefits and become a freelancer to make a living?

Dear, Third Degree,

I found the source of the statistic to which you are referring.  A survey by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) reports that in the next five years, more than a third of organizations expect half of their workforce will be made up of external talent.

But you don’t need to become a freelancer or a consultant to get in on this action. Staffing Industry Analysts touts U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) numbers that show the increase in temporary positions.

Source: Staffing Industry Analysts


To understand this trend, take a look back at recent history. The Great Recession between 2007 and 2009 forced employers to lay off workers by the millions (according to the BLS, 8.8 million jobs were lost in the U.S.). Businesses are understandably cautious about adding jobs, particularly smaller companies who may find recent Affordable Care Act mandates expensive to implement.

Enter employment agencies. Staffing agencies specialize in one or more of three areas: temporary staffing services, personnel placement (often in a specific industry), and executive recruiting. The Select Family of Staffing Companies offers temporary jobs, temp-to-hire positions, or full-time job opportunities.

How Job Seekers Work with Temporary Agencies

A temporary staffing agency actually has two types of clients that it matches up: businesses needing staff and job seekers needing employment. We’ll just look at the job seeker side here.

Inventory_iStock_000017376317_SmallAfter completing an application and proving work eligibility documentation, you’ll likely go through some assessments, skills testing, and interviews to determine your suitability for placement. Once accepted, the staffing company will try to fit your skills with requirements from area employers who may need a temporary for anywhere from a day or two to a long-term temporary assignment (that’s an oxymoron like “jumbo shrimp”).  Businesses often have seasons when they need to ramp up production – think of accounting offices in the first quarter of the year or retail stores taking inventory before year-end.

You’ll actually be an employee of the staffing agency, who will provide your paycheck and take out the appropriate withholding and taxes.  Fees are paid by the hiring companies, so there are no out-of-pocket costs for you (except for your snazzy interview outfit!). Employees are eligible for health care benefits – not from the client company, but from the staffing agency.

Temping is for you if you like a flexible schedule, enjoy diversity of tasks and working environments, need an entrance into a new company or job type, or want to use and increase your current job skills.

Temps: What made you choose to work with a staffing agency?

Do you have a job-related question? Ask Anita.

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The Bridge from Temping to a Full-Time Position
Graduates: Attempt Temping
I Want this Job to Become Permanent

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gary
    Mar 02, 2015 @ 09:03:09

    I read a ‘report’ which stated wages will decline continually over the next 25 years due to imigration(Europe, Asia, Central/South Amer). I worked temp in college: $8/hr, found out agency was charging $12. Overseas or local the CEOs/managers will get the money in bonuses. Recently another ‘expert’ stated USA population will be 2/3rd non-caucasion. Another HR expert/author stated in his book: “workers” over age 45 won’t get hired. American business is/was run by pocket-filling liars and crooks…Gates and Buffet excluded. The ‘banks’ used their bailout money for parties and bonuses, remember.


    • anitaclew
      Mar 02, 2015 @ 09:46:20

      Gary, I want to point out that, yes, staffing agencies charge clients more than the wage they pay temporary associates. This markup covers recruiting advertising costs; administrative tasks such as timekeeping, payroll, withholding, and other recordkeeping; matching state and federal taxes and contributing to workers’ comp and employee benefits; plus a small profit percentage. As for the wage decline, that is an interesting perspective as Walmart recently made headlines raising the wage for 40% of their lowest paid workers: http://tradepost.selectfamily.com/index.cfm/2015/2/26/benefits-of-raising-wages-1. With the labor market tightening (where there are more jobs than qualified workers), we are optimistic that businesses will raise the pay rates.


  2. Tiffany Lieu
    Feb 24, 2015 @ 14:51:17

    I am always flexible with my job search often searching variety of job titles for select job industries. In my younger years, I remember people saying finding jobs through temp agencies aren’t necessarily a good option for those who are career oriented. I had to think through that while developing my employment skills then but in the end I still ended up lowering the standards as pocket money became more of a priority. I am college educated without a degree and with some semiprofessional skills currently. Based on my job searches over the years, the job duties are demanding enough for more academic skills and job experiences. I had to keep pace with the economic demands but also the personal inflation in my lifestyle. So, when temp agencies offered you jobs after getting in, I decided to lower the standard by accepting the job assignments that can range from one day to several weeks.


    • joe
      Feb 24, 2015 @ 15:15:34

      Should not be that way. We are human made of flesh and bones. We should not be cattle nor have to be a number. You are right though about everything you said. One day though corp America will refuse and become so greedy they forget no has the money to buy there own products. Why the big three car companies crashed, the banks and the list will continue till there is no recovery. Be mad max


  3. James Tuberville
    Feb 24, 2015 @ 09:11:57

    I had worked for a staffing agency in the past for two reasons, one was to increase skill or learn new ones and the second was to get a foot into a company. The first job I had got hired for a permanent position was first start as a temp.


  4. joe
    Feb 24, 2015 @ 09:00:24

    Jobs are going over seas because of greedy business owners. Some of the are law makers and congress. They average house hold income drops every year while COs cash out big time. They best thing to do is go over seas. This is a greedy era we are living in and it will continue to get worse


  5. john doe
    Feb 24, 2015 @ 08:48:30

    Here’s the deal: job opening in the field you come from u qualify for and land interview. Answer questions about history of company correctly, tell the interviewers more about the company then they know, also have more experience in the department than they do. Final answer, you do not get the job even with letters stating that your a team player. Wonder they do not discriminate, what do you think? Black Balled! Who do You Know! It’s not so much what you Know. Another statement is we are a very close group and we do not want any trouble! Figure that one out. By the way, I have been in the same department for 20 years and same field, and no fired or bad record.


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Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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