TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES 2 Executive Summary This paper explores the practice of using temporary workers to fill vacancies for shortperiods of time, for a special project, or for fluctuations in work volume. In addition, people’sperception of the temporary worker, their loyalty, and learning curve is explored. The benefit ofusing temporary or contract employees versus permanent workers includes reduced costs for thecompany and flexibility for both the company and the worker. Different types of employment suit different people in all walks of life. There are thepeople that may have been displaced as a result of the economy and seeking temporary workuntil the next ideal permanent job becomes available. This became a realistic avenue for some totake such as the temporary employment boom in Silicon Valley. Some retired seniors and babyboomers with a wealth of experience and intellectual capital have also become a great source ofpotential workers. Still others prefer the freedom short term employment offers such as lack oflong term commitment. This is especially important should one get hired for a position that doesnot work out for the worker or the employer. The worker can feel free to walk away, and theemployer is not committed to breaking the contract without consequence or much expense. .
TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES 3 Introduction There are good reasons to believe that the nature of organizations and the individualexperience of work have undergone important changes. A different type of employment existsbesides the traditional work relationships in the perspective of regular full time or regular parttime employment, (Camerman, Cropanzano & Vandenberghe, 2007). New types of employmentcontracts bring about new kinds of relationships between organizations and employees. Morespecifically, temporary employment is characterized by a twofold relationship with thetemporary agency, and a temporary relationship with the client organization. The temporaryemployee could at times be caught in the middle of goal conflicts that could affect his or herwork relationship with the organization. This paper will explore the pros and cons of temporary employment practices for theemployers who provide these types of jobs, as well as the individuals seeking and working in thetemporary or short term employment field. Temporary employment is a fast growing workoption; however, there are both dangers and opportunities in the growing number of this type ofemployment practice. In a typical ideal scenario, temporary employees provide the organizationsdoing the hiring with people willing to fill in for others on a short term basis or working on aspecific project, all while enjoying lower costs. One example of lower costs would include suchexpenses as providing fringe benefits like health insurance, stock options, vacation and sickleave. The organization is also provided with increased flexibility of keeping the temporaryemployee if that person is deemed compatible and the best fit for the job. The company mayalso release the employee of their duties without any cost or contract commitments to fulfill. Inturn, the temporary worker has the opportunity for a variety of work, flexibility, as well as
TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES 4personal growth. The benefits to the organization can prove elusive if temporary employees areless skilled or not committed to their work, (Camerman, et. al, 2007). Background The standard employment relationship has been characterized by full-time and in someinstances part time workers for an indefinite period of time. An organization’s use of temporaryexternal workers as well as the kind of work performed has also changed. Contrary to what hasbeen perceived in the past, the kind of work performed by temporary workers no longer consistsof unskilled clerical tasks; many of the temporary jobs being filled are those in professionalfields such as nursing and accounting. As the use of a temporary work force continues itsupward trend, it is important to explore why organizations are using these types of workers,(Camerman, et. al (2007). Temporary jobs typically are known to be deficient in job security, benefits, as well asthe possibility for advancement. These are things that are characteristically available to regularor permanent workers. The danger of the extensive use of temporary workers may lead to thecreation of two classes of employees: permanent workers which have reasonably secure higherpaying regular jobs versus the lower paid workers without benefits. The practice of hiringtemporary worker may increase inequality which may result in consequences such as loweredproductivity, (Davis-Blake, Uzzi, 1993). This may also be due to mundane assignments orunrewarding work typically assigned to temporary workers. The temporary jobs are frequentlyfilled with members of groups that have little power in organizations such as women, non-white,and the very young. Temporary workers are typically paid less than their permanent employee
TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES 5counterparts. Although many people enjoy the alternative work arrangement with flexibleschedules, some do not actually have that choice. With today’s depressed economy and majorunemployment across the nation, the practice of hiring temporary workers to complete projectsand fill jobs previously held by full time workers has increased tremendously. Another increasein growth may occasionally be due to the need for adding temporary workers due to large eventsand occasions such as the Olympics, holiday rush, or new technology operations.Silicon Valley California ranks high in temporary employment, and specifically in places such as SiliconValley. As a center of innovation and production of high tech global industries in bothmanufacturing and service fields, Silicon Valley showed the potential of flexible work and newuse of technology and networking. Silicon Valley is a leader and innovator in the United Statesand around the world. The city became the new industrial region that characterizes theemergence of the Information Age. The temporary and subcontracted labor markets becamemore widespread in the Silicon Valley over the past few years. With the growing and rapidchange in technology, production and the highly competitive globalized markets, employmentagencies were raised to premium flexibility. In the effort to stay competitive in this rapidlychanging field, Silicon Valley’s observance of changes in the employment area became thedirection in which employment relationships caused change elsewhere, (Carnoy, Castells,Benner, 1997).Flexibility Diverse forms of flexibility in employment that have expanded over the past few yearsinclude various categories of the temporary employment field. For some workers, the weak
TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES 6connection between the employer and employee not only means financial insecurity but alsolower wages. Temporary contracts are inclined to make workers more vulnerable to fluctuationsin the economy. However, not all non-standard contract or temporary jobs are low paid orsingled out as having poor working conditions. Some of these types of jobs, along with theincreased risk provide new opportunities. Older workers, specifically seniors, boomers andretirees have incredible experience to offer and often do not have the need for benefits (Koff,2010). In examples such as Silicon Valley, there is a small group of people who thrive undernon-traditional contracts. Some seek out these contracts due to the flexibility they offer. Thisrepresents a new form of entrepreneurship in which individuals market themselves to employers.This type of self marketing, referred to as impression management is described as a goal-orientedconscious or unconscious effort which people use to influence the perception of others aboutthem, and achieved by controlling and regulating their image. As with any entrepreneurialattempt, there is risk, however it provides great returns for the contract/temporary worker, (DeCuyper, De Witte, 2010). Conditional employment such as that of temporary work consists of two basiccharacteristics: the lack of expectation of continuing employment, and variability in number ofhours, primarily in the unpredictability factor. In addition, a growing number of studies suggestthat job insecurity associates with poorer well-being among permanent workers, but jobinsecurity is a far less problematic issue among temporary workers, (De Cuyper, et. al, 2010).Furthermore, most part time jobs would not be included in this definition because they typically
TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES 7consist of a stable number of hours per week and in longevity in term. Likewise, the self-employed would not be part of the conditional employment workforce, (Carnoy, et. al, 1997). Temporary employment is typically seen as a stepping stone for a job that may transitioninto permanent employment. This transitory career stage may show no serious consequences asfar as strain or the best possible performance. On the contrary, temporary workers who are verymotivated and driven to achieve a permanent position may excel at the temporary work site toshow their true potential of the type of employee they could be if they were to be hired on as apermanent employee. In addition, the expectation of possible continued employment whether inthe continued capacity as a temporary worker or a move into a permanent position; it is enoughof an incentive for increased productivity, (De Cuyper, et. al, 2010). The idea of anticipated jobsecurity is a good motivator. Flexibility is a term used when describing non-standard contracts. Flexible employmentis often voluntary at all skill levels and different jobs. In addition, even if a job is not entirelyvoluntary, it may provide the potential of greater flexibility without the significant social costsimplied where a worker may be required to take an unstable, low paying job. Flexibleemployment is described as individuals hired through temporary agencies; those hired directly bycompanies on a temporary, contract or specific project basis; part-time employees; some self-employed persons; the employees hired on an informal basis such as day laborers and home-based workers; and the subcontractors who are primarily controlled by the contracting company,(Carnoy, et. al, 1997). In Silicon Valley, the most common form of temporary employment is in the form offlexible employment through employment agencies. According to the Bureau of Labor
TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES 8Statistics, 1995, employment agencies have experienced tremendous growth since the 1980s,while total employment has slowed. In Silicon Valley, many temporary workers are hireddirectly by employers instead of through the temporary help service agencies. Part-time employment is classified in two forms: voluntary and involuntary employment.This form of employment has also experienced a tremendous growth but this has been primarilydue to involuntary part-time employment. The pattern of growth and decline is concurrent withnational figures. The self employed also rose significantly. According to the United States 1990 Census,over 52,000 in Santa Clara County were self employed. In the four largest towns in SiliconValley, the number of self-employed increased over 44 percent between the late 1980s and mid1990s, (Carnoy, et. al, 1997). With the increase in loss of jobs over recent years, entrepreneurshave turned to self employment. Solution The best practice for temporary agencies in placing workers may be to seek workers whoare flexible, willing to work a variety of jobs, and of course, find the right person for the job.The biggest challenge for temporary agencies appears to be that of finding the right worker withthe best skill sets for the specific job with its variance from job, company and worker. Temporary workers are typically less likely to be threatened by change than permanentworkers because they have less invested in the company. In addition, perceived productivity ofthe temporary workers appears to be a bit below that of the permanent workers. However, thisdoes not mean below the learning curve. Temporary workers typically start at roughly 80percent of the learning curve but within three months reach 100 percent. Since temporary
TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES 9workers may aspire to become permanent workers, they tend to strive to prove themselves ascompetent as possible. Companies use try-out employment when workloads fluctuate, (vonHippel, Mangum, Greenberger, Skoglind, 1997). Thus, when a new project arises, a questionmay be: is this a permanent position or a temporary project job? There is a perception that temporary workers are typically not as productive as thepermanent workers. Others suggest that people take temporary jobs because they cannot findpermanent ones. Still others believe temporary workers require more training. When temporaryworkers are trained and supervised properly, temporary workers are just as productive aspermanent employees. There is also an advantage held by companies who hire temporaryemployees where there is a high unemployment rate. Conclusion Temporary agencies adopting the practice of structuring assignments that provide avariety of tasks and skill sets that fit the job are a good step toward increased workercommitment and satisfaction while meeting client needs. Increasing training and trackingdevelopment will also enhance the ability of temporary agencies to make more qualifiedplacements. Pros and cons of temporary work and as varied as the individual and their currentsituation and needs for seeking temporary jobs. The success of the temporary worker’s jobperformance falls on the individual. However, the employer’s ability to develop human resourcepractices to attract, retain and motivate temporary employees becomes important and can beaccomplished through policies including training and development, career paths and rewards.Organizations wanting only minimal use of temporary workers may establish a relationship with
TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES 10the temporary agency and with specific employees so they can be called upon as needs arise.This practice sets up a pool of stable temporary workers that are adequately trained withknowledge of the organization’s practices. Temporary workers should be aware and capable of dealing with job loss and uncertaintyassociated with temporary employment. Individuals must view temporary positions asopportunities to develop their skills or as tryouts for permanent employment opportunities. Theidea that permanent employment is possibly the most traditional form job security is definitelynot the only way to build a satisfactory career. There are an abundance of new career modelsthat no longer rely on the notion of job security viewed in the traditional form, (De Cuyper, et. al,2010). There are a growing number of highly skilled workers who voluntarily choose a form ofnon-traditional employment and often enjoy the opportunities of temporary employment.
TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES 11 ReferencesBellerose, D. (2008, July). Temporary employees get reprieve. Sault Star, A.1.FRO-A1/Front, pp. 1-1. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.bellevue.edu:80/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/348334368 ?accountid=28125Camerman, J., Cropanzano, R., & Vandenberghe, C. (2007). The benefits of justice for temporary workers. Group & Organization Management, 32(2), 176-207. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.bellevue.edu:80/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/ 203353123?accountid=28125Carnoy, M., Castells, M., & Benner, C. (1997). Labour markets and employment practices in the age of flexibility: A case study of silicon valley. International Labour Review, 136(1), 27-48. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.bellevue.edu:80/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/224009291 ?accountid=28125Courtney, v. H., Mangum, S. L., David B Greenberger, R.,L.Heneman, & Skoglind, J. D. (1997). Temporary employment: Can organizations and employees both win? The Academy of Management Executive, 11(1), 93-104. Retrieved from
TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES 12 http://ezproxy.bellevue.edu:80/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/210538578 ?accountid=28125Davis-Blake, A., & Uzzi, B. (1993). Determinants of employment externalization: A study of temporary workers and independent contractors. Administrative Science Quarterly, 38(2), 195-195. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.bellevue.edu:80/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/203954044 ?accountid=28125De Cuyper, N., & De Whitte, H. (2010). Temporary employment and perceived employability: Mediation by impression management. Journal of Career Development, 37(3), 635-652. doi:10.1177/0894845309357051. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.bellevue.edu:80/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.bellevue.ed u/docview/852205361?accountid=28125De Cuyper, N., De Witte, H., & Hetty, V. E. (2011). Temporary employment. Career Development International, 16(2), 104-113. doi:10.1108/13620431111115587 Retrieved from http://ezproxy.bellevue.edu:80/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.bellevue.ed u/docview/866418266?accountid=28125
TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES 13De Jong, J., De Cuyper, N., De Witte, H., Silla, I., & Bernhard-Oettel, C. (2009). Motives for accepting temporary employment: A typology. International Journal of Manpower, 30(3), 237-252. doi:10.1108/01437720910956745. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.bellevue.edu:80/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.bellevue.ed u/docview/231926833?accountid=28125Dempster, L., MB. (1997). Cargill hiring temporary employees. Calgary Herald, sec. B, pp. 2-2. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.bellevue.edu:80/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/244619819 ?accountid=28125Fernandez-Mateo, I. (2009). Cumulative gender disadvantage in contract employment. The American Journal of Sociology, 114(4), 871-871. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.bellevue.edu:80/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/195879142 ?accountid=28125Fernandez-Mateo, I., & King, Z. (2011). Anticipatory sorting and gender segregation in temporary employment. Management Science, 57(6), 989-1008. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.bellevue.edu:80/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/873265018 ?accountid=28125
TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES 14Forde, C. (2008). “You know we are not an employment agency”: Manpower, government, and the development of the temporary help industry in Britain. Enterprise & Society, 9(2), 337-365. doi:10.1093/es/khm105. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.bellevue.edu:80/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.bellevue.ed u/docview/218612474?accountid=28125Galarneau, D. (2010). Temporary employment in the downturn. Perspectives on Labour and Income, 22(4), 5-17. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.bellevue.edu:80/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/894123999 ?accountid=28125Gonos, G. (2001). “Never a Fee!” the miracle of the postmodern temporary help and staffing agency. Working USA,, 4(3), 9-9. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.bellevue.edu:80/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/236513161 ?accountid=28125Koff, A. (2010, January). Project Work & Temporary Jobs for Retirees, Boomers & Seniors Rising in 2010. Retrieved from http://retiredbrains.com/News/Project+Work+1-5- 10/default.aspx
TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES 15Lumpur, K. (2004, October). Temporary employees leave entitlement. Newspaper Straits Times, pp. 01-01. Retried from http://ezproxy.bellevue.edu:80/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/271821268 ?accountid=28125Norman, J. (1995, July). Q&A: Defining temporary employee:. The Orange County Register, business, pp. D.03-D.03. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.bellevue.edu:80/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/272787873 ?accountid=28125Parrish, D.-A. (1998, January). Managing temporary employees. Black Enterprise, 28(6), 23-23. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.bellevue.edu:80/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/217898944 ?accountid=28125Siker, P., Barnsbck, M., & Powell, J. (1997). Frequently asked questions: Human resources and temporary staffing. Office Solutions, 14(2), 40-41. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.bellevue.edu:80/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/216432241 ?accountid=28125
TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES 16Snyder, R. A., & Shank, M. D. (1995). “Temporary solutions”: Uncovering new market opportunities in the temporary employment industry. Services Marketing Quarterly, 12(1), 5-5. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.bellevue.edu:80/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/200195430 ?accountid=28125Vosko, L. F. (1998). Regulating precariousness? The temporary employment relationship under the NAFTA and the EC treaty. Relations Industrielles, 53(1), 123-153. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.bellevue.edu:80/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/224295994 ?accountid=28125Vosko, L. F., & Andrew, C. (2002). Temporary work: The gendered rise of a precarious employment relationship. The American Review of Canadian Studies, 32(1), 162-165. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.bellevue.edu:80/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/213998889 ?accountid=28125