Why Highly Educated Employees Make the Worst Temps


The temp industry is booming, with these workers filling essential roles in many organizations. From filling a spot left open by a mother on maternity leave to completing short-term projects, the organizational reliance on temps is evident. Many employers and staffing agencies are struggling to keep highly educated temps motivated and on task in their workforce. Career Advice hiring temporary picking a temp temp jobs temp work

my department will fall apart if I get pregnant and take maternity leave

Ask a Manager

I have every intention of accepting the job and know life will go on if I do get pregnant and need to take leave. I have some issues though: If I get promoted, and get pregnant right away, I would be out on leave during the busiest time of the year, putting undue hardship on my company. If I get promoted and pregnant, I feel like I wouldn’t be able to take any leave, as our department is busy non-stop, all day long.


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I got chastised for taking initiative, coworker secretly plans to quit after maternity leave, and more

Ask a Manager

I know my coworker secretly plans to quit after her maternity leave. We have a temp coming in to transition her work during her leave from June to October. I think taking months of maternity leave pay and benefits, knowing you are going to quit shortly thereafter (within 2 months), is robbery and a truly bad thing to do. That said, even if you told HR, they can’t deny her the ability to use her leave, so her plan will go forward anyway.

how can I cheat my temp agency, how do I know if I did well in an interview, and more

Ask A Manager

How can my temp job hire me on without my temp agency finding out and charging them? I’m currently working a temp gig and things have been going really great. See, I was placed through a temp agency that is charging 35 percent and they want something like 10 figures if I’m placed permanently. My boss won’t let us take time off while our coworker is on maternity leave. It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go….

I overheard a client badmouthing my team

Ask a Manager

I’m worried we won’t have a temp for my maternity leave. A reader writes: I recently had a voicemail from a dissatisfied client with whom we frequently collaborate. She had called to notify me of a mistake made by my department, but at the end neglected to hang up her phone properly before commenting on my team’s lack of intelligence and other similarly unflattering remarks.

warning coworkers about my book’s adult content, returning to work 2 weeks after having a baby, and more

Ask a Manager

I will be taking maternity leave soon, and my manager and HR have been preparing to hire a temp for my leave. I’m sorry you’re in this situation; the lack of paid maternity leave in the U.S.

2021 38

forced to come to work sick, distracted manager, and more

Ask A Manager

It’s common in food service jobs for workers to be pressured to come to work even when sick (and it’s an industry that often doesn’t provide sick leave), but your employer is being especially bad by ignoring a call with your doctor. In January I became established with a temp agency and was offered a position at a factory. I basically worked late on my last day and was nearly late to my own leaving do, to which she didn’t turn up.

2013 56

???? 61 Hidden Job Market Secrets Without Using Social Media


18) Local craigslist discussion forums – look for profession-related questions that employees would typically manage for an employer, respond and leave a job seeker’s signature. 57) Temp-to-permanent – work a temp job into a permanent position. For example, mothers don’t always return from maternity leave. Started as a temp and still there 15 years later. What if your next job was hiding right in front of you? Photo by Joshua Sortino.

The First 90 Days: Why Temporary Staffing Is A Permanent Solution for Small Business

Corn on the Job

A temp agency allows you to evaluate a worker’s fit for your company for a 90 day (try before you buy) period. A key person takes maternity leave, or sick leave, or jury duty, or military duty. 90 days: that seems to be the magic number of days that a new hire gets to prove his meddle. It is both a honeymoon period and a trial period all rolled into one. During that time, the newbie is given the benefit of the doubt, whatever benefit there is in doubt.

2014 70

Recruiters: Setting Up on Your Own, Can You Do Better?

The Undercover Recruiter

Some capital – Dependent upon your market requirements (obviously a perm desk takes less investment than someone who is taking on a temp/contract approach, which will obviously then require partnerships initially with factoring companies), is it worth establishing an NED in your business, or have you a trusted confidante who could act as an angel investor? And so it was inevitable that I chose my maternity leave to explore setting up on my own.

2013 76

it’s your Friday good news

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I’ve been trying to find a way out for a few years and always met with, “Why would you leave? While it’s too late for me, I feel I’m leaving the field in a better place than when I started.

2020 34

it’s your Friday good news

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It’s not the permanent position I dreamt of but they are open to go beyond the maternity leave temp, when the time comes (in a year) and I will, in both scenarios, have one year experience in this new role.

2020 32

boss wants us to use personal social media for marketing, we can only take one week of vacation at a time, and more

Ask a Manager

It’s okay for an employer to say, “If you think someone in your personal network could use our services, here’s info you can use to pitch us” — and then leave it up to you. I voiced my concerns gently once and it didn’t go anywhere, should I leave it alone? Don’t lie and say you need FMLA leave if you don’t. Who’s responsible for planning maternity leave coverage? You’re definitely not supposed to get 14 weeks of work done ahead of your leave!

2020 26

55 Hidden Job Finding Tips WITHOUT Using Social Media


17) Local craigslist discussion forums – look for profession-related questions that employees would typically manage for an employer, respond and leave a job seeker’s signature. 53) Temp-to-permanent – work a temp job into a permanent position. For example, mothers don’t always return from maternity leave. What if your next job was hiding right in front of you? Hidden jobs defined.

coworker is obsessed with my video set-up, how important are cover letters in IT, and more

Ask a Manager

Now you’ve got to leave it to him. Does my boss want me to end my temp assignment early? I currently have a temp job (covering while someone is out on maternity leave) and I still have about six weeks left. A few days ago, my boss told me that Beth will be returning early from her leave early (in about two weeks) to work part-time. If I get an offer that begins before my temp job is set to end, should I take it? It’s five answers to five questions.

2020 25

employee can’t afford our team lunches, a frequently pregnant senior leadership team, and more

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The co-founders are now in their early 30’s, and for the past three years, one or the other (or both) has been pretty much constantly pregnant / on maternity leave / just back from maternity leave and with an infant at home. The board has tried multiple times to put systems in place to prevent crises during maternity leaves, but we aren’t getting anywhere. It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go….

2018 25

updates: the mandatory feelings chart, the anonymous sexism report, and more

Ask a Manager

My last day before maternity leave is this Friday! We later found out that he’d told one of the other temps that he was only planning on staying until after the Christmas bonus (!!!). We pulled a superstar junior customer service temp we brought on a few months earlier that showed promise, and I’m happy to report she’s doing a fantastic job so far. It’s “where are you now?”

2019 25

my new coworker is my childhood bully, getting people stop with replying-all, and more

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Can my resume show that my temp work was so good that it led to a newly created full-time position? About a year ago, I accepted a three-month temp job at my current company. The temp position came about because a key employee in the research department went on maternity leave, and they needed someone to cover. It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. My new coworker is my childhood bully. I recently started a new job.

2016 30

manager ordered me to get along with a coworker, handling work when a family member is on trial, and more

Ask A Manager

He put me on something else for the rest of the day, but as I was leaving informed me i could “deal with it or quit.” Should I not have disclosed in a temp work interview that I’ll be moving next year? Should I leave a job I hate for a short-term job in my hometown? I’m torn; I really want this job and to leave my current job/city — any advice? Paid holidays when on maternity leave.

2013 56

I overheard my manager complaining about me, my coworker is a frequent surrogate mother, and more

Ask A Manager

During a recent meeting of theirs, the door was left open and we (the rest of the team) could hear bits and pieces of their conversation–not purposely, of course, and not that it was worth listening to, but we would have had to leave our cubicles to avoid it. And it always seems like there is someone out on maternity leave. It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. I overheard my manager complaining about me.

2014 59

client accidentally said rude things about my team in a voicemail, what happened to thank-you notes, and more

Ask a Manager

The new policy is we all must wear our badges on a lanyard around our necks, which is fine, but permanent hired staff and contracted/temp staff have different lanyards. The difference is not even remotely subtle: Permanent employee badges are very plain, while the ones for contractors and temps are a very bright color. If your company generally treats contractors and temps well, that matters more than the badges. Quitting while my manager is on maternity leave.

my coworkers rant about hating kids, I can’t wear a mask, and more

Ask a Manager

For context, my company is fairly new, so no one has ever taken maternity leave (something they didn’t even have a policy for until last year), and none of the older coworkers have more than one child. How “sacred” is bereavement leave and the day of a funeral in particular?

2020 39

I share an office with a smoker, and the smell is making me sick

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I’m six months pregnant and am planning on using all 12 weeks I’m allowed for my maternity leave this spring/summer. Since this would mean my coworker would need to do my job for three months, we were able to convince my boss and her bosses to hire in a temp — yay! Our boss spoke with the temp about it because it’s distracting and frankly, it was making me and my office mate feel not so hot.

2018 24

my boss says no one is allowed to get pregnant, asking job candidates if they’ve ever disparaged an employer, and more

Ask a Manager

We just recovered from a few month struggle of one of my colleagues being out on maternity leave, and now my boss is “joking” that none of us is allowed to get pregnant because we can’t afford to lose someone again. I’ve seen a rise recently in employees leaving organizations and then trashing them online. It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. My boss says no one is allowed to get pregnant.

2019 25

applying for the same job as a friend, interview outfits in sweltering weather, and more

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I always knew a office manager role would come up that I was keen on, but she previously had done the job on a secondment while the office manager was on maternity leave, so I always said she should go for it. What to say to interviewers who ask whether my temp job wants to hire me permanently. I’ve been a temp employee at a large organization for the past year and a half. It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go….

2015 31

should I hire someone who’s unhappy with the salary, a coworker’s “people I need to hit” list, and more

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Should I hire a temp who’s unhappy with the salary? We’re looking for a temp to come in and cover one of my colleagues, Melisandre, who is going on extended medical leave because of pregnancy complications and then maternity leave. Because of the cost of covering Melisandre’s paid leave and the cut the staffing agency takes, Arya would be earning around $10 an hour. It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go….

2019 31

bizarre recruiter calls, how to get informational interviews, and more

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How should one note covering a colleague’s leave on their resume? When our grants administrator went on maternity leave, I covered the process–which essentially superseded my own role, due to the volume and time-sensitive nature of the work–for three months. So, I have taken a 3-month temp position through a staffing agency to bring in some steady income while I continue to search for a full time permanent job.

2013 59

job candidate talked non-stop, expecting an employee to pick up lunch for others, and more

Ask a Manager

In six months, I’m going on maternity leave, and then am transitioning to a completely different part-time position. We hire exclusively through a temp agency (long story – I’ve been fighting against it for months), so we are unable to check references or do a lot of extensive digging. She was at her previous position for three years, leaving only because she relocated. She’s miserable and desperately wants to leave.

2018 25

I don’t want to take 2 weeks off, coworker has a “food emergency” every other day, and more

Ask a Manager

I work at a large university and we have an internal temp program. I recently got a resume from the temp coordinator, who said the candidate is extremely highly recommended, experienced, upbeat, and perfect for my role. Despite this, I’m inclined to still offer a phone interview because I generally trust our temp services people, but I am wondering if there is any possible way to ask the candidate why her resume is so awful?? It’s five answers to five questions.

2018 33

quitting if I can’t get Christmas week off, spending the night with coworkers, and more

Ask a Manager

It won’t screw you over forever, no, but you’ll need to leave this job off your resume (since you’ll have worked there less than three months). If you can find work through June (which might mean temping, retail, or food service if you’re open to that), then you’re likely to get a bit of a reset with grad school anyway. I’m resigning — how do I tell direct reports who are on leave? However, one of my direct reports is on maternity leave and another is out on medical leave.

2019 28

I have a crush on a manager at work, my coworker keeps encroaching on my desk, and more

Ask a Manager

I may be making assumptions and his behavior can be explained otherwise, but he’s called me personally to ask questions, emailed me personally to congratulate me on a job well done, left his water bottle in my work area and his manager teased him for “accidentally” leaving it there, his manager teased him for seeming giddy and laughing more than usual during one of our meetings together. My boss is dragging his feet on hiring a temp for my maternity leave.

should I do mediation with my incompetent boss, recruiter said she felt used when I turned down an offer, and more

Ask a Manager

The teapot manufacturing field is harsh and over half of new people leave, get fired, or squeezed out in five years. Should I alert anyone to this, or leave it be? I have been here a year and a half and have been contracted through a third party for my services, so I am an employee of the temp agency and receive a W2. My manager recently came back from maternity leave and was promoted into a new role as a director. It’s five answers to five questions.

2016 28

fast answer Friday — 7 short answers to 7 short questions

Ask A Manager

I am a temp worker for an Accounts Payable dept. of a company and have been working there for two months while someone is on maternity leave. It’s fast answer Friday — seven short answers to seven short questions. Here we go… 1. Did I wrap up this phone interview rudely? I had a phone interview recently, and I thought it went great except for the end.

2012 50

coworker asks for lavish gifts, fired employee is retaliating on Yelp, and more

Ask a Manager

I feel awful about leaving her in the lurch, as she spent substantial capital to go to bat for me for my promotion, but can’t bear the thought of staying after what feels like an enormous slap in the face. I’d leave it alone and see if anything else happens. I’m currently working at a big company as a temp covering maternity leave. This would make me a sixth member, when the person I’m covering for comes back from leave.)

2019 26

asking for a chance to process things before responding, taking a two-month vacation at a new job, and more

Ask a Manager

I’m fresh out of college (though I started late and am now 30) and an important thing I wasn’t able to do before now was really in-depth travel (due to either school or low-paying temp jobs between semesters). I was on maternity leave with an infant at that point, and I hired a sitter so I could take the call undisturbed. It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…. Can I ask for a chance to process things at work before responding?

2018 26

short answer Saturday — 7 short answers to 7 short questions

Ask A Manager

My old employer was really sad to see me leave and valued my work, so I feel like they would consider me if they had an opening. And of course I would just ask them to let me know when they hire again (which they do at least once a year, or as people leave). I left a temp job about 6 months ago. When I told them I was leaving, they offered me a giant raise, which I declined. Maternity leave when you have unlimited PTO.

2013 54

the person who referred me for a job was arrested, overly long bathroom breaks, and more

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This question is very hypothetical, since my fiancee is currently temping at my workplace, although she’s going to be interviewed for a permanent position this week. We keep things pretty professional, but friendly in the office, and usually only cross paths when we come in in the morning and leave at night. I am returning to the same company but a new position after a one year maternity leave. It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go….

2015 29

my new coworker wants to forbid music in the office

Ask A Manager

One of my usual coworkers just began maternity leave and won’t be back for 6-8 weeks, so we hired this new person as a temporary worker to pick up the slack in the meantime. They say a good compromise leaves everyone unhappy, and I already listen to music so quietly I have to strain to hear it. And it takes a special sort of gumption to come in as a temp and ask the existing staff to alter their habits.).

2014 56

should I take the blame for my manager’s mistake, CEO wants to reimburse us for political contributions, and more

Ask a Manager

Could we look at other options for covering the office manager work, like bringing in a temp?”. It’s four answers to four questions. Here we go…. Should I take the blame for my manager’s mistake? A task I do at work entails printing out batches of client forms and entering each into our system. The first batch I did included 50 forms.

2016 20

BNET Column: Forget the job hunt. Have a baby instead. | Penelope.

Penelope Trunk

Comments (53) Leave a Comment Could you maybe restate this to say "if you're planning to have a baby anyway, now might be a good time to do it"? I don't understand how grad school opened doors for you … Posted by Casual Surfer on September 10, 2010 at 5:02 pm | permalink | Reply Having just taken almost six months of maternity leave, I am about to return to my job. Is this your first time here?

2010 86

terse answer Tuesday: 7 short answers to 7 short questions

Ask A Manager

I guess I’m hoping that employers will view my gap as a maternity leave (which is what it would have been had we not moved) and they will view that more favorably than extended unemployment, but maybe that is the wrong way to look at it. I’d just be candid about it and explain in your cover letter that you’re returning to work after maternity leave or after taking time off to take care of family members. what should I say/ask as I leave my internship?

2011 53

mother bought me plane tickets without asking me if I could get.

Ask A Manager

Our tickets have been purchased and I am scheduled to leave in two months. Generally you accrue a certain amount per pay period, which means that after working half a year, you’d have accrued half of your annual leave (five days). Now, at some workplaces, when you need time off but don’t have enough accrued leave, they’re willing to advance you some leave or let you take those days unpaid. And just leave it off your resume.

2011 54

is allowing smoke breaks unfair to non-smokers? — Ask a Manager

Ask A Manager

Reply Slaten January 6, 2011 at 7:30 pm Unless you’re getting complaints from non-smokers I say leave well enough alone. At one office, we jokingly called it Positive Peer Pressure – if we could get them to avoid smoking during the day so many days out of the month, our manager allowed us all to leave a little early one Friday a month. It’s unfair that women get maternity leave, and I don’t because I’m a man.

2011 69