The Back-to-School Bell Rings for Temps

It’s that wonderful time of year when students of all ages head back to school. Behind the frenzy of registrations, books, class assignments and parking passes is a well-oiled machine of administrators, executive directors, teachers, facility managers, system specialists and other professionals who have been hard at work long before the bell tolls. They make the first day, and every day, look easy.

But even the best plans can go awry because schools, just like any other organization, experience staff disruptions. The “secret sauce” is to have a process that kicks in automatically to keep all cylinders pumping.

Many schools are relying on temporary or contract workers supplied by staffing agencies to fill immediate, short-term and even long-term gaps.

More than three million temporary contract employees work through staffing companies in an average week, with about 6% working in education services. Experienced temps fill not only administrative and executive assistant roles, but help with registration and admissions, marketing, IT, bookkeeping and facility management. As more and more parents and alumni are unable to serve in volunteer roles, many schools now routinely hire professional temps to handle fundraisers and development activities.

Temps provide not only an immediate answer to an early morning phone call to cover an unplanned teacher absence, but alternative, complementary solutions to staffing needs. The Temp-to-Hire option provides a great way for institutions to test a candidates’ cultural fit before making a position permanent offer. During the Temp-to-Hire period candidates are paid by the staffing firm instead of the employer. Kristy Lewis, Talent Specialist with PNP Staffing Group, says that over 95% of candidates express a willingness to temp or request the temp process as part of the hiring process.

If you’re considering using a temp staffing firm for your school, it pays to build the relationship in advance. The last thing you want is to learn of an immediate or longer term absence and not have an alternative staffing process already in place. Advance conversations provide an opportunity to evaluate the depth of expertise, available skill sets, and roster in advance.

Today, most good talent management strategies include a temp staffing component. Get ready—that bell is going to ring soon enough.

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