Improving the well-being and career outcomes of temporary agency workers

A two-perspective examination of employability-enhancing practices

Temporary agency work gains in economic importance because it increases flexibility and thus allows organizations to better adapt to fast-changing market demands. However, temporary agency work is also associated with various stressors that might unfavorably affect well-being of temporary agency workers. In addition, although temporary agency work is considered as a stepping stone to permanent work, temporary agency workers often belong to disadvantaged work groups (e.g., employees with little work experience or low education).

Issues related to the support of temporary agency workers cannot be fully addressed with existing knowledge grounded in research on standard employment. Indeed, little is known on how temporary agencies can better support temporary agency workers in terms of their career prospects and well-being. Moreover, more research is needed on how the labor market perceives temporary agency work and which measures at the agency positively influence these perceptions.

Our project examines HRM measures that target temporary agency workers’ well-being, employability and career prospects and are institutionalized in agencies. We also seek to identify factors that influence how potential employers evaluate working experiences as a temporary agency worker in the application process.

Overall, we aim to provide insights on (1) how agencies can improve and influence temporary employees’ well-being and employability, (2) how temporary agency workers may make better decisions on measures they undertake to increase their long-term career security and (3) how organizations that use temporary agency work as well as policy makers can create favorable conditions in order to contribute to positive labor market outcomes and well-being of temporary.

Key findings from the study (German)


Project leader: Dr. Manuela Morf
Phone: +41 41 229 58 61

Co-project leader: Dr. Anna Sender
Phone: +41 41 229 58 62