The staffing industry has been growing faster than the
overall economy due to one incredibly strong factor:
flexibility. Employees want it. Businesses need it. LF Staffing
The Fundamental Value Provided by Staffing
HR professionals, small business owners, managers and others who
make organizational staffing decisions, benefit from the
flexibility that staffing firms provide. This flexibility manifests
itself in many ways.
For routine needs, staffing firms can deliver workers for daily,
seasonal or cyclical assignments in a timely manner. This approach
to staffing is inherently more efficient than the traditional
approach, such as advertising for a position which entails: writing
and placing the ads, wading through stacks of résumés, running
background checks (if necessary) and then having to wait days,
weeks or more for new hires to start. Staffing firms help companies
fill positions with qualified candidates fast; businesses never
have to worry about the cumbersome process of setting up payroll
and benefits for new workers. In addition, termination of
assignments can be completed at any time without your companies'
involvement with the situation.
In fact, without the services of staffing firms like LF
Staffing, it would be nearly impossible for many companies to
staff-up for short-term projects or find temporary replacements for
employees who are sick or on vacation. The red tape alone would
make it extremely difficult and access to a ready pool of workers
would be a continual challenge.
Looking at Staffing Strategically
The staffing industry's unique access to a wide range of workers
is one of the essential benefits it offers clients. By working with
staffing firms, companies can quickly find individuals with
specific skill sets or hard-to-find work experience. Those
individuals can be brought on board for short or long-term
assignments or they can be hired permanently. This flexibility
enables companies to serve their business in a strategic manner.
Companies can respond quickly to changing business needs without
the burdening of excessive head count or unnecessary legal
exposure. Smart companies use this type of staffing agility as a
competitive advantage. Smart companies use LF Staffing.
A recent report from the U.S. Department of Labor supports this
notion. The report found "employers that have flexibility in
adjusting labor requirements to meet product and service demands
have a competitive edge over those with less flexible human
Respected researchers agree, saying companies that embrace
workforce flexibility and engage staffing firms tend to do better
economically. "Increased reliance on contingent labor is associated
with superior subsequent performance and there is no increase in
systematic risk," concluded a study published in the journal
Decision Sciences. Economists Nandkumar Nayar of Lehigh University
and G. Lee Willinger of the University of Oklahoma compared firms
in a carefully constructed sample and found that corporate
earnings, gross margins and stock returns improved after the
increased use of temporary or contract workers.
The American Staffing Association (which, LF Staffing is a proud
member) polled 500 businesses that used staffing services in 2004.
Nine out of ten businesses stated it was important to them that
"staffing companies offer flexibility to businesses so that they
can keep fully staffed during busy times." When survey participants
were asked specifically why they use staffing firms to obtain
temporary and contract workers, they cited three main
• To fill in for absent employees or to fill a vacancy
• To provide extra support during busy times or seasons
• To staff special short-term projects.
Changing American Work Force
The reality is that America's work force is changing and many
workers along with employers are looking for flexibility in their
employment arrangements. This observation is backed by empirical
evidence-three million Americans work in temporary or contract
positions every day.
The composition of these three million people is also changing.
In the past, temporary assignments were often routine clerical or
warehouse positions that required little expertise. Today, however,
many temporary and contract employees are mature, experienced and
well educated. They are at a point in their careers or their lives
when flexibility has become very important.
In a 2006 survey of staffing employees conducted by the American
Staffing Association (ASA), two-thirds of workers said flexible
work time was an important factor in their decision to become a
temporary or contract employee. Another one-quarter of survey
participants said it was an extremely important factor. More than
half said needing time for family was important, and an additional
20% said it was extremely important.
It is also worth noting that although staffing employees want
flexibility, they are willing to put in long hours. In the ASA
survey, 79% worked full-time, about the same percentage as in the
overall work force.
Finding the Right People for the Right
In many ways, the growth of the staffing industry reflects the
evolving U.S. economy. The demand for specialization is growing in
companies large and small. Staffing assignments reflect this, with
a marked shift toward occupations that require higher levels of
skills and training, according to the results of several surveys
conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Businesses tap
staffing companies for quality talent in nearly every occupational
sector, from skilled tradesmen to airplane pilots to banquet
waiters to attorneys to radiology technicians.
With the experience of matching millions of people to millions
of jobs, staffing companies are experts at filling work assignments
at all levels of an organization, from day laborer to chief
executive officer. Often it is not easy for employers to recruit
for certain professions. Staffing firms help HR professionals meet
their business requirements by providing a pipeline into the
appropriate talent pools. This includes finding candidates for
positions that are not central to a company's business. A software
company, for example, may need an accountant. Alternatively, a
retailer may need a graphic designer. Staffing firms make it
Increasingly, these matches are made on a temporary-to-hire or
temporary-to-permanent basis. This is another important aspect of
the flexibility provided by staffing firms. Companies and workers
have the opportunity to evaluate each other with no obligation for
either party. If both the employer and the worker agree that it is
a good fit, the worker can be hired permanently. The traditional
hiring process does not provide for such flexibility and can result
in poor hiring decisions that are costly and difficult for a
company to undo.
A New Reality
Global competition is affecting nearly every industry. Financial
markets are prone to enormous swings. Consumer demographics and
psychographics are changing continuously. The truth is; it is
harder than ever for companies to forecast their staffing needs.
The cost of overstaffing can be diminished profitability and
viability for a company. The cost of understaffing can be missed
business opportunities that may never present themselves again.
"Use of temporary or contract employees to smooth out labor
needs have grown substantially," said Erica L. Groshen and Simon
Potter, economists with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
"Uncertainty and financial headwinds likely constrain new job
creation." After outlining the considerable obstacles employers
must overcome to create new jobs, they argued that structural
changes might be occurring in the economy because of management
innovations that result in leaner staffing. "Firms increasingly
hire temporary help when they are busiest and then cut back when
The result of this new reality is that the job security and
career continuity that previous generations experienced no longer
exist for many Americans. An army of contract workers has emerged
in our country, reflecting fundamental changes not only in the
economy, but also in corporate management practices and in our
attitudes about employment. Given these factors, it should be no
surprise that spending on temporary and contract labor now exceeds
$70 billion annually.
To recap: Why would your company venture in the staffing
industry? Simple…staffing offers flexibility. Employees want
it. Businesses need it. LF Staffing provides it.
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