The Changing Face of Temporary Staffing


The American Staffing Association reported in December that 3.32 million temporary employees and contractors found work through an employment agency, an increase of 1.8% from 2014 and the highest third quarter since 2000. “Staffing employment continues to grow as the demand for talent increases, and, with 5.4 million job openings in the U.S., there are lots of opportunities for job seekers looking for flexible or permanent positions,” ASA president and CEO Richard Wahlquist noted last month.

Granted, many of the 3.32 million are not serving in the nonprofit sector. However, nonprofit organizations are increasingly utilizing temps to fill not only temporary short-term vacancies, but to fill high demand, short term projects such as fundraising event management, data entry, 990 filings, and more. The Chronicle of Philanthropy, in their article “Temporary Fundraisers Can Ease the Strain of Rampant Turnover” noted that seasoned veterans can keep donors involved and troubleshoot staff problems. The article notes that when Jeffery Mack stepped into his new job as chief development officer at the American Red Cross National Capital Region last year, his path was smoothed by Emma Kieran, who had spent the previous 10 months temporarily filling the job.

According to Kristi Lewis, Temp Services Manager for PNP Staffing Group, the average size of nonprofit organizations using temps has 10-15 staff members. Organizations with over 100 employees also turn to PNP as they adjust to workload fluctuations and seasonal needs. Event planners, grant writing, donation managers, and financial specialists—especially those with DonorPerfect skills, are in high demand by the nonprofit organizations.

Flexible work arrangements have long become a staple of the for-profit sector. To keep up with growing demand, PNP has a nonprofit candidate database with almost 20,000 individuals. Approx. 95% of the candidate interviews each per week are willing to become a temp as a path to hiring.

Flexible resource management allows the organization—and the individual —to evaluate each other for a long-term commitment. Ironically, the challenges that are common to executive search and direct hire clients are similar to clients who utilize temp staffing as well. Well-qualified, in-demand candidates have multiple offers on the table, and if a client takes too long to make a decision, they may lose an individual that is experienced with the organization, a particular project, or is targeted for full time employment.

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