Temporary positions may lead to full time work

FRESNO, California

Surveys show that temporary positions lead to full time work nearly three fourths of the time, and if you're in between jobs it's a great way to keep your skills current.

Joshua Furch has been working steadily for the past three years, during a time when the Valley has seen sky-high unemployment rates, this 24 year old college drop-out has been able to find work.

Joshua is part of a growing trend we are seeing in the labor market. An estimated two million people are working as temporary employees. "I started working through my first job and it lasted two or three weeks and then I called and said thank you for that job and they said okay well we have another job lined up for you."

Stefanie Schwartz is with one of the largest temporary staffing agencies in the Valley. "Here at PrideStaff we've seen about a 50 percent increase in business in the past couple years."

She believes it's an indication that the economy is on an upswing. But that doesn't mean employers are ready to hire. "Companies are just cautious to bring on full-time people they are still concerned about the economy, and so by using temps they are able to keep their cost down while we supply them with flexible labor."

It is also a way for companies to screen potential employees and test their skills.

Dave Frost said, "It helps to watch someone work and see what their habits are, if they have a sense of urgency, if they're something we're looking for."

Frost, manager with Cequent Performance, a distribution company for towing products, says this is the company's busiest season and the company hired temporary workers during this time of year. "In my industry of warehousing and distribution, I think it's a real good way to go."

While there are clear benefits for employers to hire temps... it can also provide opportunities for the unemployed. Opportunities that can lead to a permanent position.

Schwartz said, "It's really about getting out in front of people, getting exposed to different industries, different positions and also seeing what might be a good career fit for you."

Schwartz say's one of the first things employers look for is a consistent work history. And people who have gaps on their resumes have a tougher time landing a job, that is something Joshua is very aware of.

Furch explained, "Some companies are looking at what have you been doing for the past three months as opposed to oh I've been sitting at the house, through PrideStaff I am going to work."

Frost says temporary workers should treat each assignment like it's a permanent job. He firmly believes if you work hard, it will pay off. "I think you need to go in with the attitude I am going to work hard as I can to show what I can do."

PrideStaff alone hired more than 12-thousand temporary workers last year, the agency expects those numbers to go up this year, and managers say they are seeing a huge shortage of skilled labor... welders, machinist, high level administrators and accountants.

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