Dec. 09--As the economy improves, state data show South Florida employers continue to use temporary workers, often hiring them within a few months, local recruiters say.
Staffing agencies say temp workers have been a steadily increasing part of the employment mix in South Florida, with a recent surge in demand for temporary retail workers before the holiday sales rush.
"Companies ... [have] used temporary [workers] and the temp-to-hire approach quite a bit," said Ryan Skubis, South Florida district president for Robert Half International, a professional staffing business.
Temp or contract jobs are popular because they help employers contain costs, allow a company to complete a project without adding permanent staff, and see how an individual performs in a job before extending an offer, the agencies said.
Employers may also be uncertain about whether they need to add a particular job. "They say, 'Let's try it out and see if this warrants a permanent hire,'" Skubis said.
For jobseekers, taking a temp job can help keep their skills sharp, career experts say
Joan Ciferri, president of David Wood Personnel in West Palm Beach, said jobseekers who don't interview well sometimes do better showing an employer what they can do in a temp job. "The company gets to see your work and what you're all about," she said.
After being laid off in April, Pompano Beach resident Mary Malone said she applied for more than 200 jobs. Finally, a friend connected her with the Pembroke Pines office of CareerXchange staffing, which placed her in a temp job at Sawgrass Mills mall's management office.
Malone, 47, was hired in August after proving to be a good fit for the fast-paced job, said Sawgrass' general manager Luanne Lenberg. "She was very flexible -- anything we asked her to do, she had a smile on her face and was willing to jump in," she said.
And Malone said she's thrilled to find a job that suits her so well. "This position has been a godsend to me," she said.
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Original headline: Employers 'try out' workers in temp jobs before hiring
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