Using Temporary Staff

The economy has slowed down and the company has had to cut down on staff. However: The work still needs to get done so that the company can survive the economic crisis. This is where temp staff comes in.

Temp staff is people who don’t want to or are unable to work on a permanent basis. They are registered with one or more temp agencies and have a variety of skills that they can use in the different contexts that they work in. Temps are usually ready to start an assignment on short notice and good temps find themselves in high demand.

Cost Effective

As a company, using temps makes a lot of sense. They are flexible in their working hours, so you can use them for half a day or even just one or two days of the week. The temp rates vary from agency to agency, but usually it works out more cost effective to pay for a temp than to employ somebody in a permanent position.

Using a temp means not having to pay tax or any other statutory rates for that employee. Labour and disciplinary issues are also handled by the agency and, if so desired, you can have the temp replaced by simply making a phone call. Managing the temp’s performance is also a lot easier as the work parameters will (ideally) be clearly set out and the outputs measured against these.


Although you do find high level employees in temporary positions (Chartered Accountants etc.), temps are usually used for positions such as receptionists, bookkeepers and even office managers. The temp periods for these employees can also vary from half a day to as much as a year. It all depends on the company’s needs.

Temp Agency

Of course the temp agency has to make a living, so they add their fee on top of the temp’s wage. There are also other fees (like tax and insurance etc) that could be added on top of the quoted payment. If you’re dealing with a reputable company, all of this will be explained by a consultant, as well as stipulated in the contract that you sign with the agency. It is, as always, vital to read the contract in detail before signing it.

Once the contract has been signed, the agency will send you the temp that you need. Depending on the terms and conditions of your agreement, you may be billed weekly, fortnightly or monthly and it is important that you stick to the agreement. If the agency doesn’t get paid, (usually) neither does the temp.

Permanent Job Offer to a Temp

Using temp staff in tough times is a viable solution to the dilemma of ‘lots of work and no one to do it’. It also helps in times when the cash flow is a little low and you can’t afford permanent staff. Finally, it gives you the opportunity to assess the temp’s work performance and perhaps, when things are looking better, you will be able to offer him or her permanent position.

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