Here’s Why You Should be Thanking Your Temps This Week

If you haven’t already thanked your temps and contract workers, go do it now.

Why should you? Besides it being a thoughtful thing to do, it also happens to be National Staffing Employee Week. And should you not be able to do your thank yous in person, the American Staffing Association, which created this week of recognition, has a few suggestions here.

Email the one that says,

You are stellar.

Thank you for your luminous contributions
to our company’s cosmos.”

Huge jump in the temporary workforce

National Staffing Employee Week has a special significance this year, since the staffing industry is one of the strongest job creators nationally. In the last 12 months, the staffing workforce has grown almost 9 percent, while all employed workers have increased only 1.4 percent.

While temping may once have been a way to pay the bills until a permanent job came along, today’s staffing employees are just as likely to prefer the variety of project work, to say nothing of the flexibility temping provides.

National Staffing Employee of the Year Chris Hoover said that’s what attracted him to work as a contractor. “One thing I liked about contract work was that I got to work on so many different projects,” he said in a magazine article shortly after he was selected for the honor.

Hoover, a web graphics designer hired to a permanent position after working as a JCPenney contractor for two years, is typical of the new breed of temp. Professional, highly skilled, and driven by the desire for interesting, challenging work, many temps now see contract work as an opportunity to ‘test-drive’ a variety of employers and jobs.

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This kind of project-driven freelancing is not limited to IT, but is a growing trend across the spectrum of information occupations. You can read the Fordyce post about it here.

A $110 billion industry

It won’t be long — assuming the forecasts are correct — that a significant part of the workforce will be contingent. These jobs will pay as well or even better than a permanent position. Even today, the average temp earns $12 an hour, and often has benefits, including retirement. Those with special skills such as in IT, or health care, accounting or law, earn two or three times that.

The thousands of staffing firms, most small, specialty practices operating locally, add up to a $110 billion industry, which has a workforce now nearly as large as it did when the recession began. Not many other industries can say that.

As you prepare to go thank your temps, think of the effort you put into sourcing and recruiting them. Now go tell them they’re stellar.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


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