8 Reasons to Hire Temp Workers in a Recession

Cartoon of people talking in clothing store.

A new study finds that workers will retain their power to choose in the 2023 job market. Recession fears may temporarily curb hiring in the short term, but long-term effects will likely skew market power toward job-seekers. Glassdoor chief economist Aaron Terrazas said, “In a moment like this, with so many headlines about layoffs, it perhaps feels a little bit weird to talk about long-term hiring challenges. But the reality is, it is precisely in moments like this when it’s easy to lose the trees for the forest. It’s easy to conflate the near-term cyclical with long-term structural challenges in the labor market.”  

Managers can strategically hire temp employees to level with impending labor shortages. Read on to learn why to hire temp workers during a recession. 

Cool Events quote. Learn more about staffing with Jobble.

What jobs suffer the most during a recession? 

This recession will be different from past recessions. Recent tech layoffs seem to signal a white-collar recession. A hiring slowdown at Apple signals caution as a recession looms: the smartphone purveyor instituted a hiring freeze for many positions outside of research and development. CEO Tim Cook told CBS Monday: “We believe strongly in investing for the long-term. And we don’t believe you can save your way to prosperity. We think you invest your way to it.”  

Industries typically hit hardest—hospitality and travel—may not be impacted as they have in the past. Many consumers are placing a higher value on prioritizing eating out or traveling in the last two years, due to deferring these experiences during the pandemic. As many of these predictions are predictions, the ability to hire temp staff quickly is a helpful tool for weathering these uncertain economic times. 

Why to hire temp workers during a recession

They offer a nimble staffing solution for uncertain times.

Temporary and gig workers have been among the first cut in previous recessions. In our current economic climate, they instead occupy a uniquely limber, mutually beneficial space. Temporary workers can flex as business needs shift. In the impending recession, this portion of the essential labor sector will be critical to maintaining a healthy labor market and managing the economic impact on consumers.

Hiring temporary workers can be easier and less stressful for you.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, hiring full-time workers was frequently a time-consuming and labor-intensive process for many businesses. The psychological, economic, and practical impacts of the pandemic caused many Americans to reevaluate their work lives, and many are seeking remote jobs. With another recession on the horizon, businesses are wondering how a recession affects the staffing industry. For companies that need workers in person, temp workers can be a great solution.

You’ll save valuable staff time. 

Acquiring talent in a tight labor market is time-consuming. If your business lacks an HR team, hiring new employees will pull attention away from other daily priorities.  What is the best way to hire temp workers? Outsource. Use a staffing service like Jobble to recruit and hire seasonal employees or cover temporary staffing needs–for a fraction of the cost of staff time. 

Temporary employees are adaptable and driven. 

What happens to workers during a recession? Rising unemployment rates are one of a handful of recession indicators. Workers face circumstances beyond their control: wage stagnation, layoffs, and fewer opportunities. The temporary employees you bring on board want to work hard to make it through this time. Their temporary roles are often a stepping stone to the next big thing.

Temporary employees have diverse experiences.

What are the disadvantages of hiring temporary employees during a recession? Built-in turnover and loss of employee longevity. Your full-time employees are generally more knowledgeable about the day-to-day needs of your business, and more comfortable working with your customers. However, temporary employees bring their expertise to the jobs–an infusion of new perspectives and different lived experiences can breathe life into stagnant operations. 

You’ll get a better sense of organizational fit.

Is temp to hire a good idea? Yes! Bringing on workers in a temporary capacity allows managers to evaluate potential talent for organizational fit. Identify standout temporary employees early on. Gradually introduce additional responsibilities. Review benefits and compensation to reflect your commitment to keeping them on board. 

Added support in times of transition.

Recessions are tough on businesses. If you were forced to cut costs during recession and had to lay off your team, rebuilding one will be a challenge. Why do companies hire temporary workers? A scenario like this makes space for deciding what the next moves are. Temporary staff can offer short-term structure as you pursue a long-term business strategy. 

Better support your existing workforce. 

Start with a focus on your people: supporting and empowering full-time employees is an essential part of recession-proofing your business. These individuals spend the most time working with you customers and touching other phases of day-to-day operations. Without them, you’ll cease to be able to provide the same high-quality service. Ensure your team has adequate time off to lead balanced lives. Avoid over-reliance on overtime hours to reduce burnout. 

There are many reasons to hire temp workers during a recession. Ultimately, consider the unique needs of your business when navigating flexible staffing solutions in the midst of it all.

Ready to become a staffing expert?

About the Author: Meghna Jaradi is a freelance writer and events manager with experience working for the Seattle Times, Kitchen Arts & Letters, Book Larder, Peddler Brewing Company, and more. You can contact her on LinkedIn.

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