Many Augusta-based staffing agencies are finding that the greatest local demand for temporary workers falls within the industrial category.
“I think a lot of people are actually going temp,” said Isaac Kelly, a staffing specialist at Augusta Staffing Associates. “It could be a number things. It could be the market outlook, with Obamacare coming down the pipe. They could be looking at options of sharing some of that responsibility, but also it could be that business is good. The other half of the crowd is saying, ‘I don’t have time to focus on that right now. We’re so busy.’”
At Kelly’s staffing firm, companies focused on logistics, distribution and production have recorded the bulk of new hires, he said.
D-1 Staffing branch and human resources manager Kris Mcrae believes the local upswing in temporary industrial positions has been generated from similar operations floundering in surrounding towns.
“With the warehouses in the outlying areas like Millen and Waynesboro shutting down, they’re all coming here,” he said.
The D-1 Augusta branch handles employee placement only for the packing division at Kellogg’s Marvin Griffin Road plant, but more than 350 workers have been hired since January, which is higher than usual, Mcrae said.
At Acrux Staffing and Trojan Labor, which focuses on the construction and industrial segments, the trend is similar to other local staffing groups, said office manager Raymond Johnson.
While there have been more applicants than jobs this year in construction, manufacturing has remained stable, Johnson said.
“If you look across the manufacturing sector, it’s been very steady for almost three years,” said Randy Hatcher, president of MAU Workforce Solutions. “Most of the manufacturers have maintained their volumes over the last several years, which have been good. They are continuing to slightly grow their volumes. That is obviously creating jobs.”
Hatcher also attributes the growing demand for industrial workers to companies expanding their global reach.
“It used to be a lot of manufacturers around here shipped to North America,” Hatcher said. “But now the world is their market, and so it’s helped on a local level.”
The MAU agency deals primarily with manufacturing-related businesses but Hatcher said there are also opportunities in health care and medical services, call centers and administrative services.
On a national scale, the percentage of companies turning to temporary or contract workers is expected to slightly increase this year to 40 percent from 36 percent in 2012, according to CareerBuilder’s annual hiring forecast.
About 42 percent of those employers plan to transition temporary employees into permanent workers during the years.
“Temporary jobs are attractive to employees because a lot of times they want to go to work for a really large company, but getting your foot in the door is extremely difficult,” Hatcher said. “Often, it’s an opportunity for someone to pierce the corporate veil.”
Temporary job placements also can prove beneficial to employers by building experience and job skills while fleshing out resumes, he added.