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February 11, 2002

New temp service takes off

By Eric Rangus


In October, Human Resources rolled out a pilot program to provide the entire Emory community with a direct line to temporary help. In January, that program, Emory Temporary Services (ETS), became permanent and by most any measure has been a big success.

“We’ve gotten a very positive response from departments and managers,” said Del King, HR’s director of employment services. “We’ve done a good job getting people to work immediately.”

ETS was established to offer departments temporary help for assignments of up to six months, as well as offer temporary employees a chance to showcase their skills for possible full-time employment.

The number of temporary employees ETS has placed—since their assignments are limited—changes every day, but according to Donna Crabb, who manages ETS, the figure should reach 100 by the end of this month.

“I used to get between eight and 20 orders [for temporary employees] a week,” Crabb said. “Now I get between eight and 12 a day.” Crabb added that since October, 10 people who began as temporary employees have been hired full time.

ETS already has placed temporary employees in the Rollins School of Public Health, the Goizueta Business School, the School of Medicine, Emory libraries and several other campus offices. The most commonly filled position is senior secretary.

“I think people like the fact that they can call us up and have someone the next day,” Crabb said. Applicants, provided their skill set matches a need, are often placed within a week of signing up with ETS.

Not only does the new service provides a quicker response than an outside firm would, it is more cost-effective, and program management within the University means that timekeeping, payroll and supervisory issues are streamlined and easily handled.

But the biggest reason ETS was created, King said, was the cost savings. “The money we spend stays within Emory, which is fiscally responsible,” King said. “We understand departmental needs better [than outside firms], and we can do a better job prescreening candidates.”

The maximum length of an ETS assignment is six months. If a job goes beyond that period an ETS employee would then be reassigned to the department in which he or she is working.

Prior to the creation of ETS, temporary employees were provided through outside firms. HR performed some administration with temps, but would assign them to the departments in which they worked.

The launching of the ETS website on Jan. 15 signaled the graduation of the program from pilot status. Crabb said since the website’s launch, about one-third of ETS’s applicants learned about the program online.

Another way the ETS has uncovered participants is through referrals from current Emory employees. Crabb said more than half the people on ETS’s payroll were referrals.

Departments interested in hiring temporary employees through ETS should contact Human Resources by phone (404-727-7590) or e-mail (, and include contact information, skill set needed, length of and reason for assignment, hours and dress code. HR then will match a temporary employee in its database to the departmental need.

Once a temporary employee is placed, he or she will be signed up to the phone-based Time and Attendance system and paid hourly based on the skill set requested by the department. Time verification will be completed over e-mail with the departmental contact at the end of each pay period.

To apply for temporary assignment with ETS or recommend someone for employment or for more information, visit Human Resources at 1762 Clifton Road, call the office at 404-727-7590 or send e-mail to

Job applications, which must be completed prior to scheduling an appointment with ETS, are available on the HR website at In addition to a completed application, a resume, two forms of identification and three personal or business references should be brought to any scheduled appointment.