Temp staffing agencies are a large part of the American workforce today. Currently, there are approximately 20,000 temp staffing agencies with more than 39,000 offices in the US. These staffing agencies place more than three million workers each week.
On an annual basis, staffing agencies bring in a global revenue of $491 billion, with $144 billion is from the US alone.
Staffing agencies have been around for decades. There were a few small staffing agencies between 1890 and 1940. After 1940, they were more common.
At first, potential employees approached staffing agencies to help them find a job. Once the candidate got a job, they were hired as a temp employee. The agency’s job was done. If it was a for-profit agency, the employee paid a direct fee to the agency.
Many staffing agencies and employers starting working together to abuse the system. They would continuously hire and fire employees to keep collecting the fees, splitting it between them.
The government tried to put caps on fees in many states, but agencies found ways around it. Instead of changing their fee system, they changed the definition of a temporary staffing agency to their benefit.
Under the new definition, job candidates were employees of the staffing agency. Companies leased temp employees as needed.
There were no direct fees, but the employees were paid less money. Companies paid employees approximately 22% less than if they were working full-time as a staff member. The agency and business kept the extra money from the reduced compensation savings.
Word War II brought the biggest boom in the temporary employment industry. At this time, companies needed to fill open positions soldiers left behind.
The Midwest region was the first area of the country to address this and encouraged housewives to enter a part-time workforce.
Female clerical workers and day laborers became the symbol for the early years in temporary employment. When soldiers returned home from war, many of them used temp staffing agencies to help them find work.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, many companies started accepting temporary work. Companies using temps saved money when full-time employees were sick or wanted to go on vacation. In fact, many companies shifted all of their needs into the hands of “semi-permanent” employees.
Today, temporary employment offers opportunities in nearly every industry in the country, including dentistry. If you’re in the Raleigh-Durham area, take a look at our tips for using a temp agency.
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March 9, 2020