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Lease a worker and solve a staffing shortage

A FIRM knows that one of their employees will soon take maternity leave. It is not worth hiring a replacement on a permanent contract because the company knows that in less than three years they will not need her. Staff leasing, or so-called temporary help, can provide a solution.

THE SLOVAK Army needs to hire around 500 professional soldiers by the end of the year. The main interest in joining the army has come from people living in regions of high unemployment. Compulsory military service in Slovakia ends on January 1, 2006 and the last conscripts will leave barracks on December 22. That means the Slovak army will be totally professional, with about 20,000 soldiers. The Defence Ministry expects the Slovak army to join in NATO operations some time before 2008. For these operations the trans-Atlantic alliance will require mainly chemists, military police and engineers.
photo: TASR

A FIRM knows that one of their employees will soon take maternity leave. It is not worth hiring a replacement on a permanent contract because the company knows that in less than three years they will not need her. Staff leasing, or so-called temporary help, can provide a solution.

In most western countries staff leasing is very common. Small and medium-sized companies as well as large corporations use the services of a personnel agency if they need to hire a "temp" for a certain period of time.

"Staff leasing is the temporary assignment of an employee to work in some other organization. It means that an employee has a working contract with a personnel agency but he actually works in a different organization [the agency's client]," Ľubomír Dranga, executive officer of InfoWork, told The Slovak Spectator.

Slovak companies are often not aware of the possibility of using staff leasing services in Slovakia.

Ingrid Grebecová, director of placement at Trenkwalder Management Partners, pointed out that the service is still quite young in Slovakia. "It is mainly foreign companies [operating in Slovakia] that use it because they know it from their countries of origin," she added.

Temporary help enables companies to be more flexible on the labour market. They can more easily react to a lack of employees and be able to use the optimum number of workers to fulfil a certain contract or complete a certain activity.

Companies can also save on administration costs if they used leased workers. The agency takes care of any administration connected to hiring leased workers, lay-offs and wages, and other bureaucratic matters.

Agencies usually create and regularly up-date databases of suitable workers for different jobs in various regions. They often provide companies with specific consultations and regularly report on the performance of leased employees.

Personnel agencies say employees who are active and like to acquire a variety of work experience are suitable to be leased workers.

Staff leasing can also provide an opportunity for middle-aged people who have not been able to find work for a longer period of time to get back to work. The staff-leasing job can give such people an opportunity to prove their ability and increase their chances of finding a permanent job.

"If an employee shows [him/herself] to be a good worker he may be offered a permanent position," Dranga from InfoWork said. He added though that a leased worker does not have all the same benefits and rights as a company's regular employees.

Grebecová from Trenkwalder said that leased workers can get free legal help in the area of labour law from a personnel agency. She added that after finishing one temporary assignment an agency often offers them work for a different client.

Trenkwalder says almost any profession can be leased. However, manual jobs, positions in production, administration, call centres, IT and finance are the most common. Both personnel agencies believe that staff leasing has a lot of potential in this country and they are confident that it will be in more demand due to the increasing number of foreign investors in Slovakia.

Although staff leasing is a young HR branch in Slovakia, workers as well as companies are getting used at it. Also, the labour market's trust in this type of employment is growing thanks to a set of clear guidelines on who can provide the service.

"Staff leasing is included in Slovak legislation. Agencies that want to offer the service must fulfil specific conditions and acquire a licence for providing temporary employment issued by the Slovak Labour, Social Affairs and Family Office," Grebecová emphasized.

Here are some examples of jobs that companies can lease: various manual jobs, receptionists, assistants, accountants, translators, IT workers, call-centre and customer and support centre workers, cleaning ladies, and managers in various fields.

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