The Ideal Temporary Employee: A Qualitative Exploration of Recruiters' Perceptions Within Temporary Staffing Agencies
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Temporary staffing agencies have been offering U.S. employers alternative employment arrangements for several decades. Researchers have examined the implications of these arrangements by exploring temporary workers themselves. Yet, few studies have explored these arrangements from the agencies’ perspective. In this qualitative study, I conducted semi-structured interviews with recruiters who work in temporary staffing agencies to explore their perceptions of who makes a good potential temporary employee and whether their beliefs are shaped by racial, gender, or other stereotypes. Utilizing Joan Acker’s theory of gendered organizations, this study also explores how temporary agency recruiters describe the ideal temporary employee. The findings showed that temporary agency recruiters have stereotyped beliefs and biases that shape their conception of “good potential temporary employees.” In addition, recruiters and their clients had gendered beliefs about particular occupations which influenced how they described the ideal temporary employee.