Temporary Employment: An Emerging Alternative for College Graduates

By Gainey, Thomas W.; Barnett, Laura et al. | SAM Advanced Management Journal, Spring 2003 | Go to article overview

Temporary Employment: An Emerging Alternative for College Graduates


Gainey, Thomas W., Barnett, Laura, Davis, Charity, Bell, Michelle T., Curvino, Bill, SAM Advanced Management Journal


Employers facing rapid changes in the business environment and college graduates facing a tough job market can each benefit from temporary employment services. No longer is temporary work primarily secretarial or administrative; professional positions are increasingly available. Based on survey results, temporary agencies could recruit college graduates more effectively by taking certain steps: harnessing the internet; reinforcing positive perceptions about temporary work; offering flexible work option; providing in-house computer training opportunities; and becoming more involved in college career-services activities.

Introduction

Reflecting the sluggish economy and increasing unemployment rate (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2002), college graduates are facing one of the tightest job markets in years. In fact, the number of positions available to graduates decreased more than 36% from 2000 to 2001 (Mattingly, 2002). And, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (2002), this trend will continue as jobs for graduates are expected to decline an additional 3.6% from 2002 to 2003. Indeed, a number of recent graduates are opting to work in internships for little or no compensation just to gain some experience that will enhance their resume and make them appear more marketable (Lingle, 2002). Increasingly, however, college graduates are turning to the temporary employment industry as a viable alternative (Wethe, 2000).

Past research into the temporary employment industry has focused primarily on employees who are already employed as temporary workers. For example, Feldman, Doerpinghaus, and Turnley (1995) surveyed 186 temporary workers about the effects of various demographics and work arrangements on different dimensions of satisfaction. Additionally, Newton (1996) examined responses from 199 temporary workers on issues such as why they selected temporary work, their commitment to the client, and the benefits they received from the temporary agency. Because recent college graduates are increasingly turning to temporary employment for the first time, it is now critical to examine this group of potential employees more closely.

Therefore, the focus of this study was to gain some insight into how today's college student perceives the temporary employment industry.

The Appeal of Temporary Employment

College graduates today may find the temporary employment industry an attractive option for a number of reasons. First, some graduates may view it as a way to gain permanent employment within a firm. And, there may be some basis for this perception. According to the American Staffing Association, about 90% of firms have used temporary employment services (Wethe, 2000) and 72% of temporary employees eventually go on to permanent positions (Berchem, 2002).

Second, the changing nature of the temporary employment industry may lead to more positive perceptions among today's college graduates. Historically, temporary employment was viewed primarily as an alternative for firms needing administrative and clerical workers (Wethe, 2000), or as an industry providing work only for low-wage, low-skilled workers (Prestegard, 1999). Today, however, temporary staffing firms place a wide range of professional positions including accountants, attorneys, and physicians (Allen, 2002). Therefore, it is likely that today's college graduate views temporary employment as a viable outlet for young professionals.

Third, temporary employment may allow graduates to experience different occupations without making permanent commitments (Feldman, Doerpinghaus, and Turnley, 1994). Graduates in many fields today are faced with an extremely limited job market where competition for positions is intense. They may feel that other occupations may provide more opportunities. Temporary employment agencies provide a way for students to gain practical experience in a variety of fields and discover if a particular occupation has long-term appeal. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Temporary Employment: An Emerging Alternative for College Graduates
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.