Your small business has more work than you can handle—but you’re not quite ready to hire permanent, full-time employees to take up the slack. Could temporary employees be the answer to your business’s problems?

Temporary employees have some pros and cons you should know about before you make this decision. On the “plus” side, hiring temporary employees lessens your paperwork and payroll hassles. You pay the temporary agency, and they pay the temps, handling payroll, tax withholding and all the other paperwork involved for you. Because temps show up ready to work and skilled in their field, you’ll have very little downtime in getting them up to speed and productive. And no matter what type of job you need filled, there’s probably a temp for it. Today, you can find temporary employees in a wide range of specialties, including manufacturing jobs, IT experts, paralegals or even CFOs.

On the downside, of course, temporary employees generally won’t be as dedicated to your business as a permanent employee typically would. They are not always reliable, and although you can call the agency to replace a poor fit or a no-show, this can slow you down during a busy period when you need all hands on deck.

Concerns about healthcare reform, a rise in service jobs and a recovering economy are all contributing to strong demand for temporary employees right now. With companies of all sizes seeking temps, you’ll face competition for desirable employees. To increase your chance of getting the best temporary employees, work with a reputable temp agency. Be specific about your needs and your price range, provide a detailed job description, and make sure you understand what is and isn’t included in the cost.

Once your temp is on board, get the most from him or her. Team the temp with an employee who can help him or her learn the ropes quickly, and make sure the temp has everything needed to be productive from the get-go.

About the Author(s)

Ken Yancey

W. Kenneth Yancey, Jr. has been SCORE CEO since 1993. During this time, he has been responsible for developing SCORE into one of the most efficient and effective job creation and business formation engines in the USA.

CEO, SCORE