The temporary staffing industry continues to expand, with yearly double-digit growth being commonplace. Companies think it is convenient and cost-effective to work with a temporary staffing agency to fulfill unforeseen demand, fill short-term vacancies, and benefit changing workloads due to restructuring or mergers. Additionally, employers are enticed by the idea of “test driving” new employees to minimize risk and ensure a great match for permanent positions.
Many a job seeker has reaped great rewards from temporary staffing. Skilled but yet-inexperienced workers are able to get a base in the door at prestigious companies, where a poor resume could have managed to get very hard to be considered. Similarly, “drifters” (those who tend to rapidly drift from job to job) may be plagued by an overly-long resume. Temporary staffing services may be ideal for drifters, as they are able to work with short-term projects and move ahead without the negative repercussions. Retirees and college students may also be very common candidates temporary staffing. A retired nurse may find enjoyment and extra income from a temporary medical staffing firm. A computer science major can gain valuable experience working with a specialized agency.
Just a small number of personnel must handle recruiting and clientele. Even the greatest international firms tend to operate with small, mostly-independent branch offices serving specific regions. This modular structure means it is quite easy for a one-office temporary staffing agency to compete effectively with established firms.
Overall, the triple-benefit to clients, associates, and entrepreneurs has contributed to the phenomenal growth of the temporary staffing industry. Because of those advantages, it will remain an intrinsic part of the employment process through good times and bad.
Start Up Costs and Financing Sources:
$5,000 to $25,000
The startup and operating costs of a temporary staffing agency are much less than many other businesses. The basic requirements are a small office with the conventional supplies, some type of computer system with general accounting software and database software for organizing contracts, and the folks skills to work well with clientele and associates. It would not be impossible to take up a temporary staffing agency on a shoestring budget of several thousand dollars.
The biggest business expense is payroll. It is common for associates to be paid by the agency prior to the agency is paid by the client. An account must be maintained with sufficient funds to cover payroll costs until bills are paid by the clients.
It is difficult – however not impossible – to get help from venture capitalists in covering part of the costs of setting up a temporary staffing agency. A well-researched, forward-looking business plan is essential.
Pricing Guidelines for Service:
Associates are paid by the hour, and the agency covers its costs by charging a premium to the quantity billed to the client. The exact amount of the premium differs from case to case and may differ from 5% to 50% or more. Some associates are prepared to benefit less and some clients are willing to cover more, which when properly matched may result in very decent profits for the temporary staffing agency. The contract usually spells out a flat fee to be paid to the agency in the event that the client decides to permanently hire an associate.
Advertising and Marketing:
A competitive hurdle for small startups is that larger agencies curently have established reputations and brand recognition. This is really a minor obstacle due to the localized nature of the business. It is not required to wage a national marketing war to get exposure for a fresh agency. An inexpensive and well-directed marketing campaign can quickly build an invaluable reputation within the local operating region of the startup.
A company (perhaps a property office) must be built with the standard office supplies and at the very least two telephone lines.
One or more computer system with accounting software and a database for checking projects is mandatory. A printer is useful for printing invoices and job listings, and a high-speed Internet connection connects the agency with online job search sites.
Many temporary staffing services have computers with tutorial software available to simply help associates to teach their keyboarding and basic office software skills. These computers may also be used to test the skills of applicants.
Many billions of dollars are allocated to temporary staffing services each year. A small, single-office agency can earn profits in the tens of thousands of dollars. The large, international firms rake in millions every year.
A temporary staffing agency is the middleman between two distinct markets: clients and associates.
It is usually not a difficult matter to attain a huge selection of applicants with simple help wanted advertisements. More focus is going to be placed on connecting with client companies and convincing them that your services can help their businesses.
Certain industries seem more receptive to temporary staffing. Financial institutions and other office-centric companies are constantly seeking qualified office support staff. Factories frequently need labor for light industrial work, product assembly, and shipping and receiving tasks. Hospitals and clinics use temporary medical staffing to hire transcriptionists, certified nursing professionals, and other support staff. Increasingly, high-technology companies hire computer programmers, database specialists, and systems engineers on a temporary basis through agencies specializing in technical placements.
Techniques for Success:
Develop a distinct segment!
In larger markets, providers of temporary staffing services are finding it useful to branch into niches such as temporary medical staffing, legal, financial, or technical fields. The focused nature of those agencies allows recruiters to create a swimming of highly-educated, trained, and experienced associates who are able to provide the best service to clients in just a particular industry.
A hospital executive would feel convenient contracting nurses from an agency dedicated to temporary medical staffing than from a one-stop-shop that also places welders, janitors, and filing clerks. This confidence also helps associates to command better wages than they might otherwise receive by way of a general-service temporary staffing agency.
Much of the work of managing a temporary staffing agency may be automated by computer software. Well-designed database software can ease the process of matching qualified associates with appropriate job openings. Accounting operations can be quite heavily automated (but working closely with a great accountant continues to be advised). With one of these tools set up, just two major tasks remain: finding clients and finding associates.
Use your own services!
As the company grows, it can become necessary to incorporate staff to deal with the recruitment and marketing. That will never be difficult, since typically dozens or a huge selection of qualified candidates happen to be in contact with the agency!
Training, Skills or Experience Needed:
Recruiters are in an advantage with a background in human resources, business management, and marketing. A qualification is not needed for starting the company, but the knowledge gained by way of a business management program is immensely helpful. People skills are important, and may be learned through experience and self study. Numerous books have already been published, specifically addressing temporary staffing as a business opportunity.