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Full time temp workers: The advantages and disadvantages of using them

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In The Office season one and two a well know character, Ryan, fills the role of the office temp. Ryan accepts this job in the first episode of the first season, and you can see from episode one that he is not thrilled to be working at this office (as he is seen calling corporate helping to spread a rumor that the company is going under). Although Ryan is never ecstatic about working at Dunder Mifflan and Co, the office Manager, Michael, puts him to good use, and by so doing shows us, the quizzical, how useful a full time temp can be.

Mainly the temp, Ryan, is useful because he doesn't have a permanent job at Dunder Mifflan and Co, and so he can be used for any job or assignment that comes up. Sometimes this is filing (which is what he seems to have been hired for) but other more useful times this is assignments such as, cleaning out the bosses car, organizing spring cleaning, helping the boss play pranks on other employees, or my favorite, showing up before dawn to bring the boss breakfast. In this example, if you are the boss, hiring a temp worker is nothing but advantages as it would seem you have more a personal slave (or friend) than anything.


A temp worker is a worker that is hired to work with both sides (the company and the employee) expecting the worker to only work a short period of time. Most often this employee is found through an agency (known - surprisingly - as temp agencies). The agency will have already have interviewed, checked references, and know a persons skills before hiring them out to you. The temp is usually hired to fill a short time need in your office while an employee is away, you are looking to replace an employee, or your work load is temporarily heavier. If you use an agency you will generally pay the agency and the employee.

Other than hiring your own personal slave, or friend, some real advantages of hiring a temporary employee are:

  1. They can fill vacancies when your full time employees are vacationing, taking maternity leave, or otherwise cannot temporarily fill their position. This will help so that other full time employees don't suddenly feel overloaded in their workload or so that simply your company doesn't fall behind but simply keeps functioning on schedule.
  2. Temporary employees can be hired for specific projects that need undertaking but are not usually a need in your office. For example, if your company decides to put up a web site you may also decide to hire a creative team who can design this web site for you. If you do, then these will be temporary employees who will fill a need and then no longer be employed by your company.
  3. Temporary employees can be brought in when there's more work, and let go when there's less work. Allowing for the work to ride along with your budget and not having to overpay for work that isn't needed.


Of course there are negatives for hiring a temp worker as well and some of those are:

  1. Most temp employees won't have the motivations of your regular employees and may not work as hard as you may want or need them to (Ryan from The Office may be an exception as it didn't seem to be to difficult to coerce him into going to get breakfast before dawn).
  2. Temp employees will always have to be trained. It may take a couple of days before a temp employee can work at the level of a regular employee, and they may never work at that level. So although you may not be paying them as much as you do your regular employees, you may not be getting as much out of it either.
  3. When you hire a temp employee through an agency you are depending on that agency to pick the hard worker that you need. You may find out the hard way that the particular employee the agency sends over may not fit your needs and you will then be stuck at the last minute with a full day of work and no worker.


There are advantages and disadvantages to everything it is no different with hiring a temp worker.


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Posted by DK
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