What is it? An alternative staffing organization operates like a temporary staffing agency but provides supportive services to help individuals with personal challenges to work access jobs. Alternative staffing organizations charge businesses for their services, serving as the “employer of record” managing temporary employees’ payroll and assuming responsibility for risks associated with temporary employees. Whereas a traditional staffing agency may want to maintain a worker’s temporary status to continue to garner revenue, an alternative staffing organization seeks permanent employment for their workers. To help individuals succeed in their temporary placements and thus increase their likelihood of obtaining a permanent position, alternative staffing organizations often provide supportive services, such as assistance with child care, transportation, or emergencies.
Who provides it? Nonprofit organizations, such as Goodwill Industries.
Why is it important? Individuals with personal challenges to work, such as spotty work history or involvement with the criminal justice system, can have difficulty finding jobs because employers consider them a risk. Furthermore, temporary work arrangements have expanded over the past several decades, and employers increasingly use temporary agencies as a means of recruiting entry-level talent. Alternative staffing organizations capitalize on this trend while making it possible for individuals with personal challenges to work to demonstrate that they are reliable, can perform the functions of the job, and add value to a company. Alternative staffing can also provide revenue for a nonprofit organization that has a broader mission to assist low-income individuals with employment.