Temporary employment, also known as temping, is big business. In 2018, temporary and contract staffing amounted to approximately 16.8 million people in the United States alone, according to Statista. Now, as the country exits an extended period of economic growth and enters a period of uncertainty during-COVID-19, many employers are exploring flexible workforce solutions, including temporary and contract employees.
In Maryland, it’s no different. Average unemployment rates in the state tripled from early 2020 to April, when unemployment reached 10.1%. Employees are looking at temporary employment as well - as a short-term solution to bridge a gap in employment, and as a long-term solution for candidates looking for flexibility or a change in career.
When looking for a new opportunity, candidates should consider temp agencies in MD that can help with matching based on flexible schedule needs, niche skills or recurring seasonal placements.
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Companies hire contract and temporary employees due to the speed of hiring, flexibility in scaling the number of employees to fit company needs and giving candidates a trial period before bringing them on permanently.
In this post, we’ll cover a few key things for candidates to look for when hunting for temp agencies in MD, and beyond.
Why Temping is Tempting
There are any number of reasons why you might be interested in temp work, including a temporary income stream while your full-time job search continues. Or, you may be a new graduate looking to gain professional experience. Temp opportunities can fill a gap in experience on your resume, allow you to “test drive” a new job, employer or industry, or open the door to a permanent position.
What to Look for in a Temp Agency
There are many benefits to take advantage of when working with a recruiting firm. When looking at temp agencies in MD that will meet your unique needs, be sure to consider a variety of factors, including:
- Understanding of the geographical region - In Maryland and the greater Washington DC area, it’s crucial to choose a staffing agency that knows the area, traffic patterns, and what a realistic commute looks like. It would be unwise to send a candidate from Frederick, MD to Alexandria, VA on a temp interview. An agency with a home base in California might be unaware of local traffic patterns and transportation options specific to the DC metro region.
- Ongoing support throughout the process - The role of a temp agency is to be the liaison between candidates and employers, making the temporary job search process easier for both parties. Therefore, you’ll want to find an agency who will provide superior service, focusing on communication and transparency to quickly integrate you into a work environment that fits your unique needs.
- Current specialties that meet your career goals - Whether you’re in IT, finance, creative services, etc., you’ll want to seek out a temp agency that serves your specific skills. This ensures that they have deep connections in your given industry, which should translate into the ability to quickly find positions that match your skills and expertise.
- A point person that adequately prepares you for an interview - While some temp agencies may simply match you with an employer and throw you into the lion’s den to fend for yourself, you’ll be much more likely to land the job if they take the time to prepare you and help you win your next job interview. This results in a win for them, a win for the employer and a slam dunk for you.
- An ongoing relationship - Lastly, you’ll want someone who will follow up with you once you land the position, to ensure a smooth transition and onboarding experience. Although temping is normally a shorter term plan, it's also helpful to have an ongoing relationship with an agency to make the process easier should you find yourself back on the market for a job in the future.
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Temping is a route some job candidates take to gain employment quickly and temp positions typically provide more flexibility compared to a permanent position. However, it’s important to forge a relationship with the right temp agency for your situation and location. By following the guide above, you’ll be well on your way to securing temporary employment.