Using Temp Agency Labor for Demo and Other Small Jobs

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Does anyone use temporary help from staffing agencies or temp agencies to hire a few workers for the day?  We typically do a lot of the work ourselves because without getting a workers comp policy I wouldn't want to risk hiring someone for the day.  Sometimes we just need help with labor, like carrying lumber or other heavy items, or demo work and moving out trash. 

What has your experience been like?  Can you find skilled workers this way too?  How much over the worker's hourly rate do they charge?  Do they bring their own safety gear?  What if the property doesn't have a working bathroom yet?

I dont know that they have people for this short term work at many agencies. My son had to work through an agency for only a couple of weeks to do a company clean out. They needed someone but company closing couldnt hire direct. The agency was willing to do it but they said it isnt usual most of thier jobs are long term temp or temp to hire. would be great if there was a matching service for this type of need.

We use a staffing agency for day-work. They bring their own insurance and bill us a flat rate per hour.

Rule of thumb is: Don't trust them with anything more dangerous than a shovel and a wheelbarrow. We use this labor to dig holes, move materials, and haul debris to a dumpster... nothing more. Generally they need to be provided with PPE like gloves, dust masks, and whatever else. 

If you don't have a working toilet on your job site, you need to rethink that choice. OSHA regs are pretty clear on facilities and besides which... gross! Portapotties are way cheaper than dysentery. 

When I worked for a GC we used temp labor often. Usually 4-6 guys for a period of time. I agree with @Aaron McGinnis , shovels, brooms and moving things is about the extent. There will be no handyman work you should have them do. With that said I worked with a few that were very hard workers. Had two guys who would meet me almost an hour from their house at 6:00 AM on 100 degree days to load doors. These were 1-3/4, 8' tall doors (i believe these were 75-100 lbs each) and 2-1/4 fire doors over 150 lbs each. They loaded my trailer, drove to the job site and unloaded these doors for days on end. This was a GREAT task for them. Allowed me to keep an inventory and focus on managing where things go, etc.

There were a few guys (most actually) that if you asked them to sweep a hallway, they would literally sweep that hallway for 8-10 hours. They never came and said, hey I'm done, what's next... they simply went and did what you said, as slow and easy as possible.

I forget the rates now, but it was in the $20-25/hr range (workers for $11 or so, the rest was the companies overhead).

@Aaron McGinnis   Thanks for the info.  I would have to ask about the OSHA regulations.  Luckily this would be in a downtown area with public buildings (public restrooms) within a short walking distance so I figured that's our best option.  I'd much rather do that than rent a portapotty!  Those things are just awful.

@Brian Pulaski   Yes that's the type of work we might need some help with, just to save time.  I'm surprised it costs that much but I guess workers comp for this type of work is probably more expensive.  I worked for a temp agency in the past and I remember seeing an invoice, although that was probably 15 years ago.  I thought it was $5-6 over the hourly rate, but that was office work.  

@Stephanie Irto I'm not sure if the costs change based on the client. I worked for a commercial mid sized GC, projects from $1-50mil. The one I noted above was a $16,000,000 project. I wasn't the one who negotiated with and hired the temp agency, but I was the one reviewing/processing/cost coding their invoices.