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Science Matters: Staffing Companies

Examining four common perceptions that scientific professionals have of staffing companies.

by Alan Edwards
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Staffing Companies: Perception versus Reality

Scientific professionals perceive workplace issues differently. Some scientists believe that certain organizations have more employee loyalty, greater customer satisfaction, and higher quality products and services that are more valuable to consumers than those of other organizations. However, the exact opposite may be true.

Perception is not always associated with reality. For example, each year, global staffing companies provide high-quality and rewarding positions to thousands of scientific professionals around the world. Nevertheless, some scientists have pre-conceived notions about staffing companies that may not be true, such as the costs associated with staffing services and the qualifications and skill sets of employees.

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As workforce solutions companies strive to educate the public on the positive aspects of contract employment, it is useful to examine four common perceptions that scientific professionals have of staffing companies and to present the realities of what staffing companies can provide.

Perception: Candidates must pay in order to work with staffing companies.

In response to the ever-changing conditions of the global economy, many scientific professionals seek help obtaining positions within the scientific community. However, they are unsure of the ways a workforce solutions company can help them cost-effectively find work. Believing there is a cost associated with staffing service companies, many science professionals have avoided them entirely and continue to pursue career opportunities on their own.

Reality: Many staffing companies provide services free of charge.

Many staffing companies place scientific professionals with highly reputable organizations completely free of charge. Staffing recruiters will work with candidates to identify a scientific position that matches their background, skill sets, and interests. With help from staffing companies, both scientific professionals and organizations are able to benefit from each other, thus creating a true win-win situation.

Through the no-cost staffing services of workforce solutions companies, such as Kelly Scientific Resources (KSR), organizations have access to high-caliber scientific professionals around the world. With its network of worldwide offices, KSR is able to place employees within organizations throughout the United States, as well as across the globe. In the meantime, organizations obtain top scientific talent while contract employees typically develop their skill sets, network within their preferred industries, and improve their future career prospects, even in the midst of an economic downturn.

Perception: Workforce solutions companies only staff temporary employees.

In addition to scientists’ misperceptions of the cost of workforce solutions services, some professionals also believe that staffing companies only provide opportunities for temporary employees. This idea is far from the truth.

Reality: Workforce solutions companies staff full-time and temporary employees.

Throughout the world, staffing companies assist individuals as they pursue the following three types of positions:

  • Temporary (contract)

    In contract positions, candidates are able to obtain relevant work experience while working for an organization on a short-term basis.
  • Temporary-to-permanent or temporary-to-hire

    As temp-to-hire employees, candidates can work for an organization for a brief amount of time in order to determine whether or not a position or organization is a good fit for them, especially with regard to skill sets and career goals. If the organization is a “match,” that candidate may be hired full time.
  • Direct hire

    With direct-hire positions, candidates can establish full-time, long-term careers with clients of staffing companies. Workforce solutions companies will frequently recruit professionals for direct-hire positions.

If staffing companies are unable to provide professionals with full-time, direct hire opportunities, they will likely find temporary positions that may lead to full-time employment in the future.

Therefore, scientists should not view temporary offers as positions that will end in three or four months. Rather, through consistent networking, high performance, and persistence, temporary scientific employees may receive full-time offers and long-term tenure within an organization after the economy improves.

Perception: A majority of the workforce is comprised of full-time employees.

Nationwide, many professionals have attempted to obtain full-time salaried positions within the science industry and consider contract employment a less desirable choice. Many scientists believe that the majority of scientific professionals are full-time employees. However, as the workforce changes, companies will also change the way they manage their talent pools.

Reality: Many employees are pursuing contingent work.

According to an MIT and Littler Mendelson P.C. study, 50 percent of the workforce that will be added in 2010 will consist of contingent workers. Thus, 25 to 35 percent of the workforce will include temporary, contract, or project-based employees. Additionally, 73 percent of large companies are expecting to increase “their contingent workforce by a median of 25 percent between late 2008 and late 2010.”1 Growth will likely continue well into 2010, as one-third of all large companies surveyed are predicting contingent workforce growth of 50 percent or more.

As the economy recovers, some organizations will be more cautious about hiring full-time employees. When economic conditions begin to improve and the recovery truly strengthens, companies will likely continue to hire contingent scientific professionals. While the workforce continuously evolves, companies will look for the best available options in order to efficiently manage their talent needs. Scientists will be able to rely on the temporary and direct-hire staffing experience of workforce solutions companies during the coming years.

Perception: Workforce solutions companies only staff individuals with certain skill sets.

Some individuals think that workforce solutions companies only have employment opportunities for scientific professionals with advanced degrees and extensive experience. Many scientists are reluctant to contact a staffing company because they do not have the experience that some of their fellow colleagues have, or they lack a doctorate or master’s degree.

So, what is the truth exactly? Do scientific professionals need 20 years of past work experience before they should consider contacting a workforce solutions company? Actually, whether they have a doctorate in molecular biology and years of research experience or are just beginning their careers, all scientific professionals seeking employment opportunities can contact staffing companies.

Reality: Workforce solutions companies staff employees of all skill sets and backgrounds.

Staffing companies are focused on finding both temporary and full-time positions for scientific professionals of all levels of education and work experience. As equal-opportunity employers, workforce solutions companies staff all types of scientific professionals on a daily basis. Candidates should never be deterred from achieving their personal career goals as a result of having less work experience or academic credentials than their fellow scientists. Rather, workforce solutions companies will continue to help individuals meet their employment objectives on a contract, full-time, or project basis well into the future.

  1. The Emerging New Workforce: 2009 Employment and Labor Law Solutions for Contract Workers, Temporaries, and Flex Workers, The Littler Report, April 2009,