Why Resist Hiring Temporary Workers? | DCR Workforce Blog

Why Resist Hiring Temporary Workers?

Workforce strategies evolve on a regular basis, and one surprising development these days is that more employers are offering positions that were permanent at one time to temporary workers. Employers today can use the services of freelancers on a part-time or temporary basis, even online. The definitions of work are changing on a daily basis and the boundaries are getting less defined. Regulatory authorities recognize this phenomenon, and new legislation is being introduced to provide equal benefits and responsibilities to all workers – permanent or temporary. The issue I wish to explore today is whether employers today are reluctant to use temporary workers; and if yes, to look at what considerations encourage such a stand.

The norm so far has been for organizations to accord more value and trust to full time workers. Historically, temporary workers were used to fill short-term gaps, not participating in policy setting and decision making. They did not have access to all work areas within the office and frequently struggled to establish an “internal network” of co-workers who would provide the guidance needed for top performances.

Hiring a permanent employee brings a number of advantages to a company, some of which are detailed below:

  • Permanent employees gain in-house expertise and contribute to corporate knowledge to help future hires.
  • Companies access to the employee’s skills and expertise for as long as required, giving the employee a variety of assignments.
  • They save on effort, cost and time required to train the new temps at periodic intervals.
  • Companies avoid the compliance issues which the use of contingent workforce brings in its wake.
  • Permanent employees are expected to be loyal and committed workers who support the organizational agenda.

But these advantages can be outweighed by the real or perceived disadvantages of hiring permanent employees for the long term and forging relationships with them.

  • Finding adequately qualified people may prove difficult, depending on the requirement.
  • Adding full time employees proves more expensive when considering recruitment, salary, and benefits including paid holidays and vacations, health insurance or sponsored retirement plans.
  • Years of service tend to increase the pay as well as benefit package offered, and the need to ensure career growth.
  • The skills of permanent employees may become stale if the company does not continually invest in training.   Temporary workers can bring required specialty skills, as needed, that don’t exist in-house.
  • “Protected” jobs with guaranteed job security brings ia certain amount of complacency in the minds of the workers and may encourage them to make no efforts to acquire new marketable skills.

While employers are being swayed towards agency workers to handle even strategic roles, more energetic and enthusiastic workers with coveted skill sets are cashing in on the opportunities by taking up freelancing. Their numbers are considered to be about 13 million or more in the current economic situation, rendering the job market an extremely unpredictable place.

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.
Lalita is a people/project manager with extensive experience in operations, HCM and training and development across industries like banking, education, business consulting, BPO and information technology. She believes in a dynamic approach to life and learning as change is the only constant.