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Temporary Employees Wages and Benefits

Updated on April 24, 2016

Companies generally pay temporary employees lower wages and offer fewer benefits than they extend to their core counterparts. What are some of the possible drawbacks for companies that employ temporary workers? Do you believe that these drawbacks outweigh the cost savings? Explain your reasoning.

Temporary employees are often hired to fill in for core employees who are on approved leave or to act as extra set of hands for peak business times (Martocchio, 2014). Companies do generally pay temporary employees lower wages and offer fewer benefits than they extend to their core counterparts. However not all employers pay their temporary workers less than their full time non-temporary employees. For instance, as an after school counselor my position is listed as temporary, however I make the same hourly wage as core employees. The reason the position is temporary is because most of the counselors are college students who tend to work as a counselor for one to four years before leaving; the fast employee turnover allows the school district to save money by making the counselor position temporary. The school district does offer their temporary employees benefits, but the employees do have to pay for these benefits unlike core employees. Many companies face drawbacks for hiring temporary employees in that they do not always work diligently, they may have only generalized training for the position they are filling, there can be a lack of motivation if there is no chance for promotion or reward, and sometimes, if the temporary worker is forced into temporary work, they might not have a good attitude.

Employing temporary workers can be good for bigger companies who just need some extra heads for the holiday season, to fill in for a core employee who is on approved leave, or to fulfill a specific work order. However hiring temporary employees for regular positions for longer periods could cause upset among the temporary employees if they are doing the same work as core employees, but are getting paid less. This drawback can be neutralized if the company treats the temporary work period as a 3-month interview (Martocchio, 2014). Temporary employees who have a chance to get hired full time would work more diligently for the company so as to show off the full range of their skills and work ethic to their employer. The drawbacks of hiring temporary employees do not outweigh the cost if the employer is willing to hire temporary employees into core positions. If the company is unwilling or not interested in hiring the temporary workers into core positions, then the drawbacks may not outweigh the cost savings depending on the company and the workers.

For instance, in my case, most of the counselors at the school I work at are diligent workers because while we are temporary employees there is no set end period to the position. Instead any counselor who does their job well can remain in the position until they decide to leave. All counselors are also required to take certain training courses throughout the year in order to help them become better at their job; this eliminates the drawback of temporary employees not having more than just a general knowledge of the position that they are filling. The fact that most of the counselors are temporary workers allows the school to save money in benefits as the temporary workers have to pay a fee for their benefits unlike the core employees. There is no discontent between temporary counselors and core counselors because all of the core counselors started out as temporary counselors. The school has done a good job with eliminating and minimizing many of the drawbacks that come from hiring temporary employees; this makes the cost savings worth it.


Martocchio, J. (2014). Strategic compensation: A human resource management approach (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.


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