Pay Overtime or Hire Temp Help – Which is a Better Solution for Your Company?

By Jezabel Southard

Posted on April 25, 2014

It’s that time of year again.  You’re facing a seasonal rush, or perhaps you’re dealing with a big project.  Your company finds itself short-staffed, unable to tackle the rising rate of work on a normal schedule.  Should you pay your current staff overtime to handle the extra work?  Or should you bring on temporary workers until the busy time has passed?

Both options have their benefits and drawbacks:


Paying overtime may be a good option if the increase in work is small, if the work falls within the job descriptions and skill sets of your current employees, or if the increased work load is expected to last only a few weeks.  Employees are often willing to take on a few extra hours of work each week if it means being paid overtime wages, and paying overtime to current employees allows your company to work with the people it has instead of training temporary help.

If you pay overtime, however, pay careful attention to federal, state, and local wage and hour requirements.  Ensure that the overtime pay meets or exceeds legal requirements and that overtime hours are recorded accurately to avoid accusations of violating wage and hour laws.

Temporary Help

When a project is too big, too specialized, or too time-consuming to add to your current employees’ work load, it’s time to bring in temporary help.  Temporary staff can take on specialized tasks that your ordinary staff may not be trained or prepared to handle.  They can also handle certain steps in a process, such as packaging products for shipment during a seasonal rush.

Although temporary workers do need to be brought “up to speed” on how work is done in your company, they offer several benefits.  Because they work for your staffing partner, concerns about wage and hour requirements are typically addressed by your staffing firm.  Temporary help also offers your company the chance to take a “trial run” with new talent before extending a direct job offer.

Which to Choose?

If you’re unsure whether overtime or temporary help is the best option for your company, talk to your staffing partner.  At TERRA Staffing, our experienced staffing partners can help you answer tough questions about hiring.  We can also help you find the people you need to meet your sustainable growth goals.  Contact us today to learn more about our staffing services in the Pacific Northwest!

Categories: HR and Management Advice, Staffing Tips & Recruiting Trends

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