GR Strong For Temps

September 5, 2006
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GRAND RAPIDS — Businesses are increasingly likely to have temporary workers on staff, according to officials from staffing specialist Adecco.

“It’s becoming a much more acceptable business practice to have a percentage of your work force that’s flexible,” said Nancy Siegel, the employment company’s regional vice president for Michigan and Northern Indiana

Siegel said business in West Michigan has been steady and more productive across the board than in 2005. Employment through Adecco on this side of the state is up 10 percent in the past year, which Siegel said offsets the 10 percent that the Detroit market fell in the past year.

“I think there’s a better balance of industry in western Michigan,” she said. “It’s not as automotive dependant. Even though there’s good automotive, it’s not the dominant industry.”

Siegel said using Adecco’s employees for temporary and contract work is good for companies because it helps them stay flexible. Instead of hiring people only to lay them off, Siegel said, temporary workers can help companies avoid layoff situations.

“There is a cost to laying people off; you lose talent and you lose experience,” she said. “It’s an easier process to manage those ups and downs.”

Temporary workers also help companies save money, especially in health care benefits, Siegel said. 

“We’re told that’s usually one of the primary concerns that a company has,” she said. “The key thing is, some of the biggest issues out there for businesses are the cost of health care and retirement.”

Siegel said using Adecco’s workers at hourly bill rates can cost companies 10 percent to 25 percent less than hiring their own employees, based on the cost of benefits packages.

While temporary workers don’t receive benefits from the businesses that hire them, Siegel said Adecco offers benefits to its workers.

“Adecco offers medical and other benefits day one, which has changed significantly in the past few years,” she said. “It looks and feels a lot more like a career.”

Joe Ross, work-force analyst for Manpower Inc., said contract workers tend to be more motivated because they are coming to a new job and they are focused.

“It’s just a great way for employers to keep employees fresh and looking at projects with new eyes,” he said.

Ross said it is also good for the workers to get an idea of various positions and careers.

“For the contract worker, the advantage is they get to go on a date with a variety of different employers to find out which one they are best suited with,” he said. “They can figure out where their skills are most suited and best used.”    

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