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“Near or far, I’m willing to go,” she says.
Last week, Hollis registered with Brooks, hoping the agency can place her in a job in a hospital, surgery center or medical group, anywhere they might need someone to draw blood and help with office work.
She hopes to equal or better the $14.90 hourly wage she earned at the lab. But Hollis is willing to accept less to get back in the work force. A temp job could open that door.
“I see it as a bridge to a permanent, full-time job,” she says.
Brooks says employers, faced with a deep pool of talent, have grown increasingly choosy.
“Gone are the days when an employer calls and asks us to send somebody over on Monday,” she says. “First, they wanted to see resumes. Then they wanted to interview someone. Now, they want to interview two or three people and then pick.”
Brooks says as many as 90 percent of the positions she is filling could turn into full-time jobs. Nationally, the conversion rate is about 50 percent, according to the American Staffing Association, a trade group. Temps also are working in positions longer, an average of 13.8 weeks.
At Cherry Hill-based Accu Staffing Services, demand is strong for both short-term projects and open-ended assignments.
“Companies are using us for project-based work that might last eight or nine weeks,” says Elaine Damm, vice president. “We also have people who are working indefinitely, mostly packaging food, because consumers are starting to spend more.”
Despite the uptick, wages remain stagnant, ranging from $7.25 an hour for light industrial work to $14 an hour for customer service support.
Last week, Accu cut paychecks for 2,800 workers, 800 more than the same week last year.
“We are anticipating continued growth for the rest of the year,” she says. “We are feeling good about our ability to help people who are happy to have a job and are hoping to grow.”
JJ Staffing in Cherry Hill recently placed temp-to-hire workers in clerical, sales, customer service and tech positions. Ginny Schramm, the regional manager, is confident the matches will stick.
“Training is expensive,” she says. “So if a person works out, the company is likely to stay with that person.”
Schramm says candidates are focused foremost on landing a position, then making the most of that opportunity. She recently interviewed a former teacher who had been out of the job market for 12 years raising children.
“She was hoping to get a position in customer service because teaching jobs are hard to get, especially in March,” she says. “Her goal is to get a job – and go from there.”
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