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  The Herman Trend Alert

June 25, 2003

Temp Solution Will Spread

Employers are caught in a difficult position. Since they must keep their payrolls under tight control, there are no extra people to assign to special projects. Under these circumstances, employers have several choices: Hire more people, ignore the opportunity, or contract the work to an outside firm.

Many companies hire temporary employees to fill in when regular employees are on vacation or when there is an unusual surge of business. As the economy improves, the temporary staffing business will increase significantly. Fearing that the economy will slow again, leaving them with inflated payrolls, employers will be hesitant to hire new regular employees.

Staffing of a company's core business is difficult to manage today and will be a balancing act for at least the next six months. But, what about aspects of the business that are not part of the central mission, yet still may need to be performed? Temporary help will fit here, too, using firms that specialize in specific types of work.

Employers will seek opportunities to use outside specialists. Taking inventory will be the responsibility of outside companies, even more than it is already. Shipping, building maintenance, landscaping, extra transportation of guests, special computer programming, and meeting management will be assigned to companies that can respond quickly, creatively, and at a modest cost.

Many corporations used to hold meetings to inform and motivate management, sales, and production employees. These meetings were often elaborate affairs at hotels, conference centers, and resorts. Professional speakers, entertainment, abundant food, and special gifts were standard components. As the economy slowed, corporate leaders tightened budgets by reducing or eliminating meetings---and the people responsible for their professional management.

As the economy picks up, companies will again want to host meetings, but won't have in-house staff to do planning and management. As companies rebuild, agile meeting professionals with experience will be tapped to assume these responsibilities. As employers look for interim support and, in some cases, new ways to manage meetings without adding more permanent staff, firms like Global Enterprises ( will see significant increases in business. Innovative approaches to meetings will earn considerable attention.

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