Why Use the Services of Alternative Staffing Organizations: Perspectives from Customer Businesses

Feb 11, 2013 No Comments by

Rounding out its series of reports about findings from the Mott Foundation-funded Alternative Staffing Demonstration, the most recent paper produced by the Center for Social Policy at the University of Massachusetts-Boston highlights how businesses use temporary staffing and for what purposes they employ ASOs over conventional staffing agencies. Click “Read more” to download the paper.

Among the findings:

  • Customer businesses reported engaging with ASOs because the alternative staffing approach to job brokering services is distinctive; adds value to the performance of the customer businesses; and connects to the improvement of economic conditions in the communities where the employers are located.
  • Customer businesses identified the quality of the temporary workers and the ASO’s capacity to meet the employer’s needs as being primary decision points for contracting with an ASO.
  • Customer businesses gave high priority to the distinctive way in which ASOs provide services, that is, efforts of ASO staff to customize staffing services as well as their knowledge of the work setting and their responsiveness. In turn, these practices help solve the difficulties these businesses face with entry-level hiring such as proper screening for their needs and not obtaining customized services from other vendors.
  • Customer businesses also reported being motivated by the social mission of the ASOs, which emphasizes labor market engagement and success for low-income workers.  Many customers draw the connection between the motivation to have the worker succeed in the job assignment with the quality of the job match provided by the ASO.

For the workforce development field in particular, the findings provide important insight into employer decisions regarding temporary employment services, as well as their interests in engaging with organizations driven by social mission.  The findings also give additional weight to the importance and value of creating alternative paths to work experience and employment for job seekers who face labor market barriers.

The paper is the last in a series on findings from the Center for Social Policy regarding the Alternative Staffing Demonstration. Two earlier papers are:

Alternative Staffing Organizations and Skills: Linking Temporary Work with Training (November 2012)

The Alternative Staffing Work Experience: Populations, Barriers and Employment Outcomes (September 2012)



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