KATHMANDU: Temporary employees or ‘temps’ in short, are hired to assist employers meet business demands, yet allow the employer to avoid the cost of hiring a regular employee. According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, there are approximately 1.2 million temp staffs hired each year. A survey of HR directors by The Recruitment and Employment Confederation showed 84 per cent intended
to increase their use of temp-orary workers, citing quick reactions to market difficulties as a primary reason.
There are many benefits of hiring temporary employees. For employers, temporary employment allows them to hire employees they need for a specific task
or time, such as a project that exceeds their current capabilities or a substitute for an employee on leave. Temporary employment can also be a good way to test out new employees to find out if they are a good fit for the company before hiring a permanent person.
“Flexible hours are also a plus point,” says Nikesh Todi, who has worked as a temp staff in many event management companies. Other attractions include choice of which shifts to work; the ability to take off over the weekends, holidays, vacations, personal
appointments, or to work on such days for additional pay. “The likelihood of getting fired as a temp is lower than in a permanent
position, though a client of the agency may request for the temporary worker not to return, even for a minor infraction,” adds Todi.
However, along with the benefits, there are a few drawbacks in hiring temporary employees. By only using temporary employees, employers may spend a lot of time training the new hires for each project, resulting in loss of productivity.
Employers may also run into legal trouble through rehiring the same temporary employee many times to avoid paying
benefits or other compensation as a full-time permanent employee.
Moreover, temporary positions have been known to have high turnover rates. Reduced liability protection is another disadvant-age. With independent contractor status, contractors are required to carry liability insurance or else can be held accountable in
a negligence lawsuit when an error results in damage. Todi says, “Lack of reference is another negative aspect. Also, many employers looking for candidates for permanent job positions do not consider work done on a temporary basis as a satisfactory level of experience.”
Still, the use of temporary help has enjoyed growth ver since Entrepreneur William Russell Kelly opened the first temporary staffing agency in 1946. Like most present-day agencies, temp positions are no longer limited to secretaries and file clerks and possess a myriad other
titles, including accountants, financial officers, assembly-line workers, nurses, doctors, scientists, lawyers and information technology professionals.
Some surveys of employers have found an assumption that temporary workers are generally less reliable than their permanent employees. However, one study conducted by Joe Broschak, assistant professor of organisational behaviour at the University of Illinois, reveals that on
average, temporary workers display better performance relative to goals compared to their full-time counterparts. “As more and more employees choose to work as free agents, the actual professional and education qualifications of free agents help dispel the myth that temporary workers are less reliable,” says Broschak.