Training and Advancement

The employment services industry offers opportunities in many occupations for workers with a variety of skill levels and experience. The majority of temporary jobs still require only graduation from high school or the equivalent, while some permanent jobs, such as those in management, may require a bachelor’s or higher degree. In general, the training requirements of temporary workers mirror those for permanent employees in the economy as a whole. As the industry expands to include various professional and managerial occupations, a growing number of jobs will require a bachelor’s or advanced degree.

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Some temporary help services firms offer skills training to newly hired employees to make them more marketable. This training often is provided free to the temporary worker and is an economical way to acquire training in important skills such as word processing. Agency training policies vary, so persons considering temporary work should ask firms what training they offer and at what cost.

Advancement as a temporary employee usually takes the form of pay increases or greater choice of jobs. More often, temporary workers transfer to full-time jobs with other employers. Turnover among temporary workers within temporary help services firms usually is very high; many accept offers to work full time for clients for whom they worked as temporary workers. Some experienced temporary workers may be offered permanent jobs with help firms, such as training others for temporary jobs.

Staff of employment placement agencies and permanent staff of temporary help services firms typically are made up of employment interviewers, administrative support workers, and managers. The qualifications required of employment interviewers depend partly on the occupations that the employment placement agency or temporary help services firm specializes in placing. For example, agencies that place professionals, such as accountants or nurses, usually employ interviewers with college degrees in similar fields. Agencies specializing in placing administrative support workers, such as secretaries or data entry keyers, are more likely to hire interviewers with less education, but who have experience in those occupations. Staffs of professional employer organizations include professionals in human resources management, payroll, risk management, legal services, financial management, employment compliance, and administration.

Although administrative support occupations, such as receptionists, usually do not require formal education beyond high school, related work experience may be needed. Sometimes, staff experienced in administrative support occupations advance to employment interviewer positions. Most managers have college degrees; an undergraduate degree in personnel management or a related field is the best preparation for these jobs. Employment, recruitment, and placement specialists often advance to managerial positions, but seldom without a bachelor’s degree.