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Temp work is becoming a career field of its own

Union Leader Correspondent

March 16. 2013 2:26AM

DOVER - In the current job market, it seems more people are making a career out of being a "temp," but others enjoy the flexibility of working a short time before moving on to other opportunities.

As a result, companies like the Leddy Group, which is headquartered on Locust Street, are taking advantage of the growing need for a variety of temporary workers, according to Senior Vice President Patty McGrail, who supervises operations in northern New England.

"We've seen consistent growth in our Seacoast office," McGrail said.

The American Staffing Association reports staffing companies across the nation employed an average of 2.95 million temporary and contract workers daily during the third quarter of 2012, according to a release by the Leddy Group.

As a result of the economic times, McGrail said many companies have felt the need to cut back on their labor force, but still need to fulfill their customers' demands. As a result, she added, temporary workers are extremely valuable since they can lend a hand without being full-time employees or needing full-time benefits.

"Some industries have their challenges; others are doing well," McGrail said, adding there is no one profession that is exempt from the ongoing economic issues.

While temporary workers may not receive benefits from the firms that hire them, McGrail said the Leddy Group has access to major medical, which it offers to them, if they desire. She added this helps fill the gaps for their staffers.

McGrail said she oversees about 100 employees, including 17 who work full-time for the Leddy Group. Most of the employees fill temporary positions at other companies in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, she said.

Established in 1994, The Leddy Group - a division of Work Opportunities Unlimited - provides temporary workers in three major areas: light industrial, front office and accounting.

As a result, the Leddy Group has skilled people who can fill vacancies along the assembly line, in manufacturing facilities or in warehouses. The company also has people trained for roles in reception, bookkeeping, accounts payable, administration or executive positions, McGrail said.

The Leddy Group also has offices in Bedford, Keene and Lebanon in New Hampshire; and in Saco, Maine; Rutland, Vt. and - as of last year - in Juno Beach, Fla.

On top of the usual areas, the new office, which serves Palm Beach County, also offers temporary workers for teaching positions. The company also expanded its professional services and increased its sales team in the past year, according to a release.

"The staffing industry is growing," McGrail said, adding there has been more than a 25 percent increase of companies seeking temp workers in the past year.

Regardless of the location or the profession, McGrail said some employees are looking for long-term, full-time opportunities, while others are seeking part-time jobs or a series of short-term positions.

Even if temporary staffers stay within a particular field, they get to experience different environments - which is a huge selling point, McGrail said.

Nonetheless, McGrail said only 21 percent of applicants are eligible to work for Leddy Group. Successful candidates have the necessary background, education, experience and attitude, she said.

"What we have seen is companies are being more selective," McGrail said, adding the company's clients are looking for skilled workers rather than entry-level applicants.

After seeing positive indicators, McGrail remains optimistic that the economy will turn around, but many companies remain wary.

"There's still a lot of unknowns at this time," McGrail said.

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