Getting By with Temps?

What do you do when business surges after you’ve been in backpedal mode for three years? This is the situation we find ourselves in today at Graff-Pinkert & Co., our used machine tool dealership, and judging by the surge in manufacturing just reported by the Purchasing Managers Index on Monday (the best since 1988), we are not alone.

We have too many machines to get out the door in the next three months than our present shop personnel can handle. The options we are weighing include adding hours, adding employees, hiring part-timers, bringing in temps, and bringing in contract workers.

The bias that pervades our decision making is that we prefer not to hire full time workers who will get the expensive benefit packages that our core workers receive. This probably sounds harsh, but after building a bloated payroll in the ‘90s and early 2000s which we were loathe to trim, we are paranoid about retracing those steps.

If we knew that the rush of orders would continue for a year, we would be inclined to hire two or three people in the shop and office, but visibility is foggy.

So today we are adding a guy for three months at $11.00 an hour and are planning to add office help for 20 hours a week. Hours will also be added to shop overtime. Graff-Pinkert is in the interim stage of hiring where I believe many firms are today.

I wonder what course other firms are taking today regarding adding new workers.

Question: Is now the time to hire fulltime workers, or skate by with temps?

Ryan Howard, Perpetual Temp on The Office

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6 thoughts on “Getting By with Temps?

  1. Sunnyjeff

    Where can you find a temporary machinist/toolmaker? Every time I have tried, I have been dissapointed with the results. Moreover, can you find any fulltime machinists/toolmakers any more? I’m a bit over fifty and so is everyone else in the trade!

  2. Charles F. Somers

    Temps fill a void when you don’t know where the near future is, but if you get a good person and don’t hire him full time he has no loyalty and will move for something better as soon as he can.

  3. matt

    if you get a qualified person, you should hire them!!! when is the “right” time to hire?? probably about the same “right” time it was to get married, have kids, invest in real estate, divest in real estate, play the stock market, get out of the stock market, etc. let me know how your timing works out

  4. Tony

    We have brought in 3 temps in the last month, we interviewed first, and looked at operators that had some experience and wanted to learn, so far it is working out… is not easy, but I think it will pay off with operators that understand they can grow with our company.

  5. Bruce Renwick

    As back in the “good old days” of a few years ago, we too are having difficulty finding qualified people to run our machines, particularly our screw machines. We have been on a temp to hire basis for about 8 months now. It takes a lot to get on the regular payroll. Attendance, skill, quality and efficiency are looked at carefully before we offer a regular position and this can take up to 6 months. This is made clear to all people who are interviewed so they can decide if this is where they want to be employed. So far we have found 1 keeper! We have let 3 people go. This is better than our old method of getting people on the regular payroll and hoping they work out.

  6. Dan

    Temps are a way to go right now. You don’t know what the future holds and it is a win-win situation. The Employer gets someone who wants to work and the employee gets some much needed experience. I am working on contract right now and if I play may cards right, there will be a full-time job afterwards…..


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