Is Temporary Work the New Permanent?


The Paradigm Shift to Temporary Staffing


In the two years since the Great Recession ended in 2009, staffing firms have created more jobs than any other industry. As Jason Deverant, vice president of sales for @Work Personnel Services says, “Private sector temporary staffing is a leader in job creation.”

Despite the economy’s sluggish recovery, if you own a staffing franchise business has been good. According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, the temporary help services industry put nearly half a million Americans back to work and accounted for 91 percent of non-farm job growth from June 2009 – June 2011. For @Work, this has meant a 30 percent increase in profits over just last year.


“We’re looking for similar growth numbers this year,” Deverant adds.

As an industry, temporary staffing and recruiting are hyper-cyclical, fluctuating with the contraction and expansion of the economy. A study from the American Staffing Association suggests that temporary staffing firms lose jobs first during an economic contraction and create jobs first during an economic recovery. In essence, the temporary staffing and recruiting industry is a litmus test for the rest of the economy.


For a variety of reasons, there hasn’t been a significant shift back to permanent hiring since the recovery began. Firms are, according to Deverant “a little gun shy” about returning to the old business model of hiring employees permanently.


“Awareness of staffing companies has increased and attitudes have changed,” explains Deverant. The Great Recession has issued a new staffing paradigm: temporary might just be the new permanent.


For the employer, staffing provides an obvious value. Shielded from workers compensation litigations, unemployment, and the need to offer benefits, firms are able to mitigate the inherent risks of hiring a permanent employee while still getting a project done on time. Staffing takes into account the seasonality of certain industries, too. In addition, using a staffing agency is an enormous time saver for the employer.


“Very often we hear, ‘It’s hard for us to find a new candidate, I don’t have the time.’,” says Deverant.

But what about the employee? Is staffing good for the temp, too? According to Jason Deverant, it is. Instead of being tied down to one particular job every day, a temporary hire can pick and choose which projects he or she wishes to be a part of. There’s an increase in modality that’s coveted many full-time employees. In addition, work is often accomplished in a more project-oriented manner. The temporary staffer is treated more like a contractor than just a “filler” employee.

How staffing benefits both employer and employee.

The need for staffing reaches into multiple industries extending beyond the traditional administrative work, which is why @Work’s franchising model includes four distinct staffing lines: personnel, medical services, search group, and helping hands.

“Our model is more cost effective,” says Deverant, “There’s about a 30 percent savings to comparable business models.”


In addition to providing staffing for multiple industries, @Work prides itself on its screening process. Finding quality temporary staffers is a huge part of what has made @Work a major competitor in the world of staffing. When a firm approaches you to fill a position, they’re trusting you to do the same kind of thorough recruitment and background check they’d do– if they had the time.

Of course, @Work’s dedication to finding franchisees is equally strong.


“An ideal @Work franchisee candidate is, of course, someone with staffing experience,” jokes Deverant, “But most of all we’re looking for someone with relationship development skills.”


Many of @Works’ franchisees are former human resources professionals who have made the switch to staffing. Those who aren’t skilled in sales (or might be a little rusty) need not worry. As part of the franchise’s standard fees, @Work dedicates a substantial amount of time preparing new franchisees for their new business ownership role.


“Our model is fairly inexpensive when you break the costs down,” says Deverant. Of course, a lot depends on the market in which a franchisee chooses to establish his or her location, but an @Work franchise usually costs between $77,000 and $120,000. According to Deverant, this includes the franchise fee, training fees, estimation of start-up costs, equipment purchases, client development cash, and additional overhead. As Deverant notes, franchisees can make frugal choices and bring this cost down even more.


For more information on @Work or how to become an @Work franchisee, please visit