Great Ideas for your Small Business: Rely on Temps or Leased Workers
Finding skilled workers is a small business owner’s nightmare. Talented people, especially in the high-tech arena, are fielding multiple job offers. In a seller’s market, top people demand high salaries, incredible benefits, and perks. Big companies can afford to woo them, but what can you do to compete for talent?
Don’t despair. There are millions of terrific people who, for one reason or another, prefer to work for a variety of firms. So they register with temporary agencies or employee leasing firms. Temping also has a strong appeal to people who are between jobs or people who just need a fresh start after a bad work experience, maternity leave, or a move across country.
In 2001, we were blessed with a terrific temp. Sibyl worked as our office administrator and coordinator for the “Back on Track America™” campaign while waiting to get into medical school.
Unlike the strictly clerical or secretarial agencies of the past, modern temp agencies attract top talent and frequently specialize in specific industries. There are agencies that place accountants, software engineers, marketing executives, construction managers, graphic designers, and medical doctors.
No matter what kind of work you require, you can find a temporary worker to fit the bill. The greatest advantage to hiring a temp is that because they are on someone else’s payroll, you don’t have to worry about benefits or payroll taxes. If the person doesn’t work out, you just call the agency and they quickly disappear. The best agencies will replace problem workers on the same day if you call early enough in the morning.
Olsten, Manpower, Kelly Services, and Adia are among the best-known staffing companies. In fact, Manpower ranked number one in 1996 with $7.5 billion in world- wide sales. If you can’t find what you need locally or by referral, you can contact Staffing Industry Analysts, a research group that tracks the industry: 881 Fremont Ave., Suite A3, Los Altos, CA 94024;
Another alternative is leased workers. Leased workers are hired with a more permanent situation in mind. It works like this: You sign an agreement with an employee leasing company and pay a fee, which is usually a percentage of the total payroll. The leasing company then hires the kind of people you need, puts them on their payroll, and “leases” them back to you.
One advantage of leasing is that most of the time-consuming personnel and administrative aspects of staffing are handled by the leasing company. Another great thing about leasing is that you can easily convert your existing employees to leased workers if you are tired of dealing with all the paper- work. “A client company has the flexibility to lease all or a portion of their work force, even top management,” according to a brochure from Personnel Coordinators in Fair Lawn, New Jersey.
Companies like Personnel Coordinators can take care of everything from filing payroll tax reports to setting up direct deposit for checks, pension plans, credit unions, and employee reward programs. They also perform back-ground checks on applicants, comply with all state and federal hiring regulations, and legally terminate problem employees.
The Department of Health and Human Services estimates the average manager spends about 15 percent of his or her time on employee-related administrative tasks. If you can think of better ways to spend your time and are tired of dealing with the hassles of hiring and firing people, look into employee leasing.