Get Your Foot in the Door by Working as a Temp

Amber Elrod is the regional manager for Kelly Services, a human resources provider with three locations in San Diego County.

Is temp work picking up or slowing down in the current economy?

In San Diego, we are starting to see a steady increase in temporary and temporary-to-hire opportunities in the areas of customer service, marketing, manufacturing, and entry-level IT and engineering assignments.

What’s the process for getting temp work with Kelly Services? What do applicants need to provide before applying?

We require applicants to provide a current résumé highlighting their most recent work history and experience with sufficient detail regarding their core responsibilities, accomplishments, and acquired skills/training. For the convenience of our applicants, they are sent an online application and complete online testing to determine ability, skills, and experience levels. If an immediate opening is not available, applicants will be contacted when a job opening matches their skills.

What kinds of experience does the ideal candidate have?

The experience required varies by the type of position and the industry. Unless you are applying for an entry-level position, most employers today request one to three years of experience.

What kinds of skills does one need to have to work with Kelly Services?

The skills needed also depend on the specific job and industry. However, good customer service skills and proficiency in software technology are skills required for most jobs.

How many people do you send out each day? Each week?

In San Diego County, the number of employees on assignment varies daily. On a weekly basis, we send out more than 100 people on assignments.

Can you give me some examples of the companies you work with?

I cannot provide specific names of companies. However, Kelly works with a wide range of industries. In San Diego, Kelly employees can be found working in biotech, telecommunications, medical device, healthcare, and financial institutions, to mention just a few.

What’s the average number of hours per day that a Kelly Services employee works?

Our employees on average work the standard 8-hour shift with the exception of some industries such as manufacturing, which can range from 8-10 hours/day.

Who pays the employee? Kelly Services or the company they’re sent to? And what’s the average pay?

Kelly pays the employees we send out on assignment and we never charge a fee to job applicants. Pay levels depend on the type of position and skill levels required. They can range from entry-level to six figures for someone with a Ph.D.

What’s the average length of a temporary job?

The average length of a Kelly temporary assignment is three months.

How often do temp jobs become full-time?

Although employers are more optimistic about the economy today, they are still tentative about bringing employees on permanently. A greater portion of employers are opting to utilize our temporary-to-hire solution, which gives them the ability to evaluate an employee’s fit within their organization. On average, our employees convert to full-time employment 20-25 percent of the time.

Do you have any advice for job seekers who might want to try temp work?

Given the recent economic fluctuations, companies are cautious about hiring. Many are hiring temporary employees first because they want to be sure their business is sustained before hiring on permanent employees.

One of the best advantages for a candidate working through Kelly is the ability to get a foot in the door with many of the businesses Kelly partners with in the community. Temporary employment offers an opportunity to increase your experience.


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