Day labor, Temporary agency’s, and Uncaring corporations!

Now this will not win me any friends but it’s something to be said about a group of individuals feeding off of those who actually do work.  If anything it may just run me out of the employment market completely.  I don’t care at this point.  Some people think they aren’t using others to live but they are.  These are the carrion of man.  The lazy, scamming filth of humanity are just other terms that can be used for them.

I’m referring to day labor, temporary agencies, and head hunters.  A good number of these people DON’T know how to get a job.  They often DON’T know how a resume should be formatted or what should be in it.  It doesn’t matter how many years they’ve been working in the placement service of their choice or what kind of “sheep skin”(college degree for those less knowledgeable)  they have.

Let me start with day labor employment services.  These are the real sharks.  The people who run them have their employee’s go and find work for others.  Generally, they’ll tell the perspective employers or users of their services how much it will cost them to use their services (people the day labor place employs).  This includes a small hourly amount (not necessarily small) to cover the day labor employer’s cost or administrative fees.  Then the day labor service sends out workers to these employers on a daily basis.  The employee of the day labor place is paid as little as possible for doing some of the dirtiest jobs no one else will do.  Generally that wage is minimum wage if not less if the day labor place could get away with it.  The employee of the day labor employer is also minimally covered (almost no coverage) insurance wise (medical or otherwise).  There are no other benefits.  No vacation time, no sick days or sick leave.  There are at least five or more day labor places in Columbia, SC metro area.

Before I leave day labor places be, I must make light of one thing.  The day labor places will charge you for transportation and food (lunch if you so desire to get one).  While I was working it was $3/day for rides and the same for lunches.  Now when I was working at the day labor place doing this, I was making at the time minimum wage of $5.25/hour.  At the end of an 8 hour workday I had roughly $38 left after paying for transportation.  Can someone live off that?  Not really.  Average rent around here for a one bedroom is around $425/month.  This is just the rent.  No utilities no nothing beyond the rent.

Now before I get sidetracked too much about other things.  Let’s move on shall we.  Next up are the temporary agencies or headhunters.  The people in these business’ are very similar to the day labor people.  Jobs from these pay a bit better.  Not often as you’d like.  However, they do come with many of  the missing benefits you don’t get out of a day labor organizations.  However, they don’t come with full benefits.  Also, these places generally pay weekly or bi-monthly.  Headhunters really only differ in the fact that they get a bonus after you’re employed so long at the company they set you up with.  Otherwise they are pretty much the same as the regular temporary agencies like Manpower.

Now where they all get off is in the number of people they get to work for them and the overhead (costs) for them to get you to work.  Day labor services generally make more per person employed as they can set a wage that is much higher than the one the laborer earns.  Regular temporary agencies are much more controlled by the jobs they post people to thus they rely more on numbers of people they employ with a lower per laborer take on wages.

You ask how I know this?  I’ve worked day labor places, temporary agencies like Manpower, and even worked for a headhunter.  I never figured out what the day labor places nor the headhunter made from me in the way of profit over my paid wages.  However, for one place I was placed by Manpower at the time, I was paid $8/hour.  They were actually charging the customer $10/hour so the net profit they made from my labor was $2/hour.  There you can see where Manpower was relying more on numbers of people they could get employed vice the day labor pools or headhunters.

My real problem with these people isn’t the money they make off any effort I do.  It’s the thought that these people who sometimes tell you they have to embellish your resume to get a good job and often times do modify your resume without your knowledge DON’T KNOW how to get a job or do a resume in the first place.  Many don’t have even a business degree.  And when it comes to the IT industry, there are very few who truly know the industry.  Most don’t even hold any kind of IT certifications.  In other words, the vast majority of these people who run these so called businesses have never even worked a day in the life of anyone in these fields.  They neither understand the position that they are hiring for nor know how to advertise the position opening to begin with.  This fails to bring up the least common denominator in all the people in these business’.  None of them want to work in the first place so they USE people to make money for themselves.

My last thought is the reason most corporations use these services in the beginning.  By using such agencies to begin with the corporations don’t pay benefits that they generally pay full time employees.  Point in case.  I was reading an article on one of the various technology sites about a guy who got laid off from IBM during the last batch of downsizing layoffs.  He got called by a headhunter a week later and was asked if he’d like a job doing the same thing he was doing for IBM.  The pay was the same but lacked the benefits that his IBM full time job had.  He asked the headhunter who the job was for and discovered that it was the very same IBM who he was working for a week earlier.  Once he found this out he told the headhunter no thanks and swore he’d never work for IBM again in his life.  Can you blame the guy?  I surely can’t.  Now you understand my problem with these people and the corporations that use them to avoid paying what they should to keep good people instead of using these agencies to cut their costs.  To the corporations, this is a cost saving aspect.  If they truly looked at it it actually costs them more than to maintain their own HR department and do their own paperwork.  Not to mention higher cost/employee.

Now you know about how these people work together.  Myself, I’m like that guy who no longer works for IBM.  I refuse to work for day labor or temporary agencies ever again.  Contract work (where I can set my own wages and benefits) or full time employment (not through an agency) will be the only way I’ll go.

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2 Responses to “Day labor, Temporary agency’s, and Uncaring corporations!”

  1. El Gwapo Says:

    El Gwapo here…………..can you establish and run a day labor org without profit to the owner? in otherwords, it does cost the owners something to run it and like the day laborer………..they do it to make money and maybe, perhaps, some do it to help others as much and as far as that service will take them.

    Day labor groups charge as much as they can charge to the customer (your employer of the day) but what they charge is very limited, very controlled by what the market prices of demand will allow. My limited experience with them in hiring folks from them…several of them………has been that they themselves look for those on whom they can rely, perhaps a fellow like you and it hurts them to send out folks who just don’t want to work or lack any skills.
    This affects how much they can charge…. and pay.
    All this to say they have their side of the story too. Could they be of more help preparing a resume? Could they provide benefits? likely they could help more with the resumes, but not probable since those owners do not posses those skill sets themselves. the question is : how does that help them make more money, get better people? Regarding transportation and meals…………I get you on the transportation…I think that is a scam by them, Paying for meals is an expense they would have to recover somehow either by taking it from their own profits or by charging the customer (and they won’t because they likely can’t).
    health beni’s are out of the question as the rates they charge to customers does not allow them to outfit an office, hire staff, man telephones, cars, etc ….pay the worker, make a profit AND pay for health care. Not even close.
    From my perspective when I need someone to do some labor (remember usually employers call for labor not skills, just labor)(the lowest pay grade of skill sets) …..when I call……..it’s to get temporary workers only. I like the service.

    FYI: I sell industrial items to power plants and paper mills. I work solely on commission and I pay my own health and expenses. I have a friend who left SCEG as an employee and came back to them as a contract only employee paying his own benefits and he’s made that work for him ………..nicely. Just adding a little sauce to your story there Mr Frog.
    Always a pleasure. El Gwapo

  2. tfrog1291 Says:

    Points taken El Gwappo. I didn’t exactly point out the finer points about the day labor businesses. I’ve worked both sides through a day labor place (i.e. unskilled and skilled labor), in many cases it’s a way to get your foot in the door. I’ve also done contract work for Information Technology where maybe I could have bartered a better deal to cover my costs for transportation or food as well as costs for paying for my benefits.

    As to the day labor places and charging for food, I’m all for charging recouping fees. When I was working the day labor places they were charging $3 for a bag lunch consisting of a sandwich of some sorts, a small bag of chips, and a can of generic soda. Granted they make these lunches up and have to cover the cost of the products as well as their time. Back when I was working through day labor places (nothing more recent than 2002), you could make a lunch like that as low as $1 or $1.50 per lunch. That is a rip off.

    Now as to benefits, yes some of those organizations operate at a low profit margin and they can’t afford to offer their employees the benefits of a full time worker. But there are those that operate at a much higher margin. Even full time workers are now having to pay more for the benefits they are offered through companies. Now the temporary agencies do offer limited benefits in some instances. Who’s to say they can’t at least do what regular employers do and offer to pay a certain percentage of benefits like healthcare. It doesn’t have to be as much as a regular employer but it would be a consolation to the employee.

    Also, one thing I might add. I’ve had one time where I worked through a day labor organization where I went out as labor (unskilled) and I later on during the course of the job (long term ticket as it’s called through those organizations) it turned into a skilled job for which I was given a raise for.

    I also have family (step father and half brother) who are self employed and they do figure their medical and life insurance costs into the job they do so I do understand where you’re coming from there. Of course I’ve met a millionaire up in Wisconsin who does well with his company but treats his employees much better than the average company to so he does get devotion from his employees. This is where I see a lot of falling down in many businesses today. They are not paying attention to how they treat the employee to keep him there. This too goes to a joint reliance between the employer and the employee. But that’s for another posting perhaps.

    As always, I value the comments like El Gwappo. They keep me straight and also give me a point of view I forget to look at in various times.

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