At some point in the life of your company, you’re likely to need both permanent and temporary employees at the same time. While each type of employee offers distinct advantages, it can be difficult to reconcile the two groups due to their misunderstanding of each other. As a business owner, one of your highest priorities is ensuring that all of your employees are operating at his or her highest capacity, which requires all perceived differences between them to be settled. Dispelling any friction will unify all parts of your employee base, putting you and your employees and in turn, your company, in the best position to succeed.

Best of Both Worlds

With permanent employees, you favor stability over flexibility. While their tenure generally lasts much longer than those of temporary employees’ and they end up becoming far greater assets to your company in the long run, finding them takes more time and money, they require higher pay and are often eligible for benefits. In the case of a star employee, he or she will become increasingly valuable to your company the longer that he or she has been working there, building knowledge, skills and experience along the way. But if an employee hired to a permanent position proves themselves to be a poor fit, the expenses associated with turnover will be far greater than that of a temporary employee.[1]

Infographic about the pros and cons of hiring permanent employees.

On the other hand, the appointment of a temporary employee lasts for one year or less with a specific expiration date[2] either hinging on:

  1. The end of a busy season: Many businesses, particularly those in the retail or hospitality industry, have periods of prosperity and stagnation due to ebbs and flows in trends like shopping and tourism. Management will need to bring on new talent or see out the old as dictated by demand.
  2. The return of a permanent employee on leave: Due to various dramatic life events such as having a baby, a relative getting sick or getting sick themselves, some employees will inevitably require significant time away from the office. When this occurs, depending on how valuable the given employee is to you, you’ll want to bring on a temporary or permanent replacement.
  3. The completion of a specific project or projects: In the pursuit of growth, businesses will often bite off more than they can chew. In situations in which the required labor exceeds your workforce’s capabilities but only for a time, temporary employees can not only be brought on quickly but also can be sent on their way relatively painlessly once the given project or projects have been completed.
  4. A possible offer to become a permanent employee: Business owners can be rewarded with additional value from temporary employees in the form of improved performances if they are brought on with the condition that he or she can become permanent depending on his or her success in the role.
In some cases, an employee is brought on with a temporary status to determine if he or she would be a good fit in the given position. This method allows companies to try out employees, sparing them the costs of terminating an ill-advised permanent hire and searching for a replacement. However, an excess of temporary employees can result in your permanent employees constantly training new hires for every passing demand rather than focusing on their primary responsibilities.

Strength Through Unity

Despite what’s best for your company, permanent and temporary employees don’t always work well with each other. Their potentially strained relationship can stem from their perception of each other as competition rather than as allies. When the possible incentive of permanent employment is presented to temporary employees in return for high performance, this can cause each party to view the other as threats. As a business owner, it’s your job to smooth over their relationship to ensure that your company runs at an ideal capacity.

Picture of two men having a conversation.

Hostility between factions of your employees is bad for business and can manifest in several different forms, including assigning less desirable duties, disregarding or outright ignoring the needs of, or strong-arming subordinate employees into compliance. It’s your responsibility to convey to all of your employees that this type of behavior is unacceptable and will be met with consequences such as suspension, demotion or termination. If left unchecked, this aggression can result in increased turnover within your company which can affect your ability to hire replacements, temporary or otherwise.[3]

If you need help integrating your permanent and temporary employees, TPG Staffing can help. We are a comprehensive staffing agency offering a variety of resources to help maximize your workforce’s cohesion and productivity. In addition to managing employee relations, we also offer several administrative and human resources services designed to maximize the productivity of your employees and the revenue of your business. Call us today at 732-246-7100 to learn more.