Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 4th 2014 Contents B22
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, November 4, 2014
It s a new year and a time when we seem to
naturally develop a new attitude as we change
Top 5 Temporary Work Challenges (and Solu-
If you find yourself working on a temporary
basis or considering it as a way to return to work
in 2014, you will face some challenges that go
with this territory. With the right information
and attitude, there are ways to turn these around
instead of being intimidated by them. Here s the
top five challenges that temps face, as I see them:
Challenge #1 (Pay Level)
This is probably the biggest challenge a temp
faces. Discuss with your staffing service repre-
sentative the hourly rate of pay for temps pos-
sessing your particular skills so you will know
what your earning potential will be.
Sometimes temps can make more per hour
than a full-timer at the same job. This is because
there are no benefits, payroll taxes, and insurance
costs being paid by the organization where temps
are assigned. These items are arranged and cov-
ered through the staffing service (your actual
If you need to earn more per hour, ask the
staffing service what you can do to increase your
• Are there more technical skills or certification
that you need to make a difference in what
you can get paid?
• Can you pick up weekend or off-hour
assignments that may pay differentials for
these non-standard work hours?
Be sure to check with multiple staffing services
on what they pay. Hourly rates may vary, but
usually only slightly. In any event, you don t
want to find out later that the staffing service
across the street pays more for the same job.
Challenge #2 (Lack of Benefits)
Remember, as a temp, the staffing service is
your employer. Find out what the staffing service
offers in the way of benefits to their temporary
employees. Things have changed a lot over the
past decade in this area.
It s common now for a staffing service to
require that temps work a certain number of
consistent hours in order to become eligible for
their benefit program. Benefits offered will vary
by each staffing service. The benefits from some
staffing services may include paid vacation or
time off, participation in a 401(k) or health insur-
The Affordable Care Act increases access to
health insurance through employers or govern-
ment-regulated exchanges beginning on January
1, 2014. Temporary employees will now need to
be aware of their rights, obligations and oppor-
tunities under the ACA. Check out
HealthCare.gov to learn.
Challenge #3 (Sporadic Work)
The fear of only working assignments that
are few and far between can be handled through
a few tactics:
• Register with several staffing services
(large/national and small/local) to increase
your chances for work.
• Ask your staffing service(s) about long term
temp assignments that are available.
• Ask your staffing service(s) about any temp-
to-perm (temporary to permanent) job
assignments that are available.
• Ask your staffing service(s) if they have any
internal projects or positions available that
you may fill.
• Ask your staffing service(s) about any hard-
to-fill work assignments they may be work-
ing on to see if you may be just the right
person to handle the position.
Regularly check in about work assignments
with any staffing services you are registered
with, and make your availability known on an
Make it a point to report back to your rep
after every temp assignment, and give them
feedback on the work you performed and what
it was like to work on the assignment. This pro-
vides the staffing service with firsthand knowl-
edge and is extremely valuable. It gives them
practical, real world information about their
clients, so they can better understand them.
Sharing this information helps the staffing
service continue to grow their competitive edge
and provide even more service to their clients
- you may help them discover a need they weren t
even aware existed. It also aligns you as a staffing
service "ambassador." When you help make the
staffing service look good, they will be more
inclined to call you for future work.
Challenge #4 (Keeping Skills Current)
This is an area where you will need to stay
Observe what skills are being used on the job
during your work assignments by others around
you in your field. Talk to co-workers about what
applications and what versions they are using.
How are they staying current? What websites
do they use for references and what are they
reading on a regular basis for their information?
Learn what the trends are while on the job.
Many staffing services offer online training
and testing, so take advantage of any of these
they provide. Depending on your particular job,
do you need to be certified or take any advanced
courses? Talk to the staffing service rep for their
suggestions on keeping your skill level and knowl-
edge level current. This is what they do, so tap
into their expertise.
Challenge #5 (Reduced Colleague/Network
You can feel like an island when you work as
a temp. To counter that, develop your own set
of colleagues and network partners.
First, your staffing service representative is
one of your best networking partners, so be sure
to develop and nurture that relationship. Work
with your staffing service rep to introduce you
to other temps at their service you can learn
from and share information with.
Participate in any events sponsored by your
Sign up for newsletters, follow blogs about
temporary employment to not only educate your-
self on trends and issues but to know who the
experts are and what they re saying about temp-
ing. Communicate with blog article contributors,
provide comments to bloggers, and ask for advice.
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