More temps become permanent; but state slower to bounce back
NORTH BAY — Staffing agencies are reporting an uptick in temporary hiring throughout the North Bay, and those temporary jobs are increasingly becoming permanent, echoing a nationwide trend, according to human resources experts in the North Bay.
In a recent poll of staffing employees, the American Staffing Association said temporary jobs had helped them move into a permanent position, and a study by the University of Florida found that more than three-fourths of workers in temporary positions moved into permanent jobs. An additional 23 percent of respondents took on an additional temporary job.
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“We’ve seen a substantial increase within the last few months with regard to our employees being hired permanently,” said Nicole Smartt, regional account director of Sonoma-based Star Staffing. “People are more willing to take a temporary position to help supplement their income while they look for a full-time job.”
Much of the staffing at Star, Ms. Smartt said, is within manufacturing and the wine industry, and those areas, particularly the wine industry, are gearing up for the summer season and expect an increase in available hours as orders come in.
“We hope this will continue to be the case,” she added.
Northern California’s largest human resources staffing company, the Nelson Family of Companies, said it was experiencing the same trend.
“We’re seeing that,” Nelson spokeswoman Courtney Dickson said. Yet whereas previous optimism had centered on the manufacturing sector, Ms. Dickson said upward projections are occurring within multiple areas. “We’re seeing kind of a mix of everything, which is great for us. A lot more temporary employees are going to hires because business is picking up.”
Her point was echoed by Nelson CEO and founder Gary Nelson as well as its Senior Vice President Tony Bartenetti.
“We are experiencing growth in all sectors, including administrative, accounting and IT,” Mr. Nelson said. “The growth is primarily contingent workers, but direct hire for customers is beginning to ramp as well,” Mr. Nelson said, adding that the increased demand is prevalent throughout most of Northern California, and Nelson’s increase in volume compared with this time last year is 40 percent.
“The temp-help recovery continues to be driven by light industrial and administrative staffing, yet the recovery seems to have broadened to include lower-end accounting, finance and IT staffing,” Mr. Nelson said, noting that such an indication is a positive development for both his company as well as the economy.
Ms. Dickson said the increase in hiring began slowly in late December of 2009, and it has trickled upward since January, traditionally a slower month for job expansion after the holiday season.
Currently, she said, “Companies are happier. They had a hard time making ends meet but things are picking up.” The transition of temporary workers to permanent positions stems from employers having to operate with minimal resources throughout the recession, she said.
“They’re tired of struggling without the proper resources,” she said.
David Ohman, branch manager of Manpower Sonoma County, said the hiring of previously temporary employees, who typically are temporary for 90 days before being hired, is beneficial for a company as it prepares for an increase in business.