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Get Off the Roller Coaster
Use temporary staffing to manage the highs and lows in your workload

It's coming--your busiest time of year.

Like climbing that monstrous first hill of a roller coaster, staffing up for your high season can bring on real anxiety. Placing want ads, recruiting, screening, interviewing, hiring, and training a large number of new employees--all for a few months of work--can be overwhelming. And once you get over the peak, you're sent screaming down the other side...

If, like most managers, you'd rather not "white knuckle" your way through another busy season, a staffing service can help. This short article explains how using temporary employees can even out the highs and lows in your workload.

  • Get the flexibility you need. Use seasonal temporaries to handle surges in demand without impacting fixed expenses. When things slow back down, you let the contingent staff go and hold onto your employees--your workforce stays lean and flexible.

  • Gain instant access to talent. You must compete with other businesses to attract the limited number of candidates looking for seasonal employment. Beat your competitors to the punch. A staffing service recruits candidates year-round, and actively maintains a database of available workers. When your busy season hits, they have qualified candidates ready to go to work. They can also proactively recruit for specialized talent in advance of your hiring needs.

  • Shorten the learning curve. A staffing service recruits workers with the specific skills and experience you require. The provider can also, at your request, develop customized orientation materials for the employees they provide you. As a result, you can reduce training costs and get seasonal workers up-to-speed more quickly.

  • Eliminate administrative and legal burdens. When a staffing service provides your seasonal help, the agency, not you, is the employer. You don't have to deal with the social security, payroll, and other employment taxes and legal burdens associated with seasonal employees.

  • Cut back on overtime. Temporary employees help you avoid paying higher overtime rates and eliminate the employee burn-out it causes.

  • Eliminate bad hires. When you hire seasonal employees through a staffing firm, any individual who does not meet your expectations can be quickly terminated and replaced--without any risks of wrongful termination suits or firing costs.

Consider a planned staffing option

If your business has frequent, predictable surges in demand, a planned staffing option may be right for you. Planned staffing is the strategic use of temporaries to accommodate workloads known to vary in seasons or other cycles.

First, a staffing expert will work with you to examine year-round fluctuations in workload and identify peak demand periods. Next, the professional will create a customized staffing plan for your business that: provides temporary employees to handle your busiest times; reduces or eliminates your need to layoff employees during slow periods; and frees you to focus on the most critical parts of your job.

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

It's never too early to discuss a need with a staffing service. By giving your provider adequate lead-time, you optimize your chances of finding qualified candidates--especially when you need a large number of workers. So if you need temporaries in July, contact your provider a few months earlier. The sooner your provider knows about a surge in your business, the better prepared they'll be to turn a potential roller coaster ride into a mere speed bump.

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American Staffing Association