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TAPP: The Smarter, Less Costly Alternative to Temp Agencies

Locating and hiring skilled employees in today’s manufacturing environment can be difficult to say the least. It’s no secret that manufacturers face some pretty significant hurdles when it comes to improving or even just maintaining a skilled, dependable and dedicated workforce.

Responding to customer needs in a growing market means that companies often find themselves in a position where they need to quickly bring in more workers. The challenge is not just finding a warm body willing to work, but also finding someone with the attitude and potential to succeed in a manufacturing environment.

Many manufacturers, both large and small, fall back on temporary agencies to quickly fill the gaps. While a viable solution, they often find that it’s a troublesome one as well. There is no doubt that temporary agencies are easy to use, but that doesn’t mean they are the best solution for company that is seeking to turn a temporary employee into a permanent one.

Temporary Agencies—Fast but Faulty

Temporary agencies typically service a wide range of industries ranging from offices to retail to manufacturing. It’s because of their breadth of requirements that that they are only able to vet their candidates so much.

Manufacturers using temp agencies to fill positions run a greater risk of getting workers who, while willing to work, have never been employed in a manufacturing environment. As a result, extra time must be spent to train those workers not only in the specific tasks of a position, but also in the basics of manufacturing and safety procedures. This is usually time that a company can’t afford to spend, especially when the need is urgent.

Training isn’t the only concern when using temporary agencies. Turnover rates are greater, commitment to the company and its goals is lower, team building between permanent employees and temp workers is more difficult, and then, of course, there’s the cost.

Wage rates for temporary workers is around 20% higher than that of a permanent employee. Add into that figure the contract buyout fees if a company does decide to hire the prospect on a permanent basis and we’re talking about an unsavory dollar amount to work into the budget, especially for smaller companies.

In addition to the higher cost, due to the other issues mentioned, most companies have to go through at least three temporary employees to find that one that works out.1 Unfortunately, that’s three times the cost and three times the time invested in training to get one good fit.

A Smarter and More Financially Sound Hiring Alternative

Wouldn’t it be nice to have the pre-screening of candidates performed by someone who understands the industry and focuses only on manufacturing? It would mean you could hit the jackpot on that first worker and not find yourself once again saying, “Next!” Wouldn’t it be even nicer if that well-vetted and eager-to-work candidate also cost you less money to find? You’re in luck, because that is precisely what TAPP—the Training Assessment Placement Project—does.

TAPP is a relatively new program that started in September 2015. It is a partnership between PolymerOhio Manufacturing Services, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Corrections (ODRC), the Military Veterans Resource Center (MVRC), and VM Consulting (VMC) that seeks to place low-level, non-violent ex-offenders (restored citizens) and military veterans who possess manufacturing skills into manufacturing positions. ODRC and MVRC provide the prospects, PolymerOhio provides the manufacturing knowledge and resources, and VMC performs the pre-screen evaluations and post-hire consulting for each worker.

TAPP pre-screens their prospects with a manufacturing written test and a hands-on practical application test, both of which the candidate must pass with a minimum score of 85%. They must also pass TAPP’s pre-screen interview and pre-placement drug testing. TAPP takes great care to fit the perfect prospect to your specific position so you can be sure that the person you bring into your company is the right fit the first time. No more expensive revolving door.

In addition to pre-screening that caters specifically to the manufacturing industry, TAPP goes above and beyond by providing 6 months of post-hire consulting and job coaching for each worker that it places. They address any work issues and work skills as well as assist with the everyday life situations that a candidate returning to the workforce and mainstream society might face, such as transportation and housing. TAPP seeks the best experience for the company as well as the most successful outcome for the candidate.

The monetary benefit of using TAPP rather than a generic temporary agency isn’t just found in the fact that the hiring company no longer has to rotate through and train three workers to find that one good employee. Companies hiring TAPP candidates can also take advantage of federal and local programs that encourage the hiring of restored citizens and military veterans.

For TAPP’s client companies, the program has been a very successful replacement for temporary agencies. Read what some of them have said:

“Your program has changed the dynamics of our workforce.”

“We’ve been able to hire a very talented workforce at a fraction of the cost.”

“It’s not about the money back, but the quality of the new workforce.”

“Our supervisors are actually able to supervise because they don’t need to keep telling the new employees to find something to do. They are self-starters!”

“The TAPP employees are eager and ready to start working the first day.”

“The TAPP employees are humble and very dedicated to their jobs.”

“As a temp-to-hire company this has changed the way we do business.”

For instance, the United States Department of Labor offers the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), which gives a $2,400 to $9,600 tax liability credit to employers who hire individuals from specific target groups. Select counties in Ohio also have money available that give a company hiring TAPP candidates a quarterly benefit equaling 40%—or up to $8,000 per hire—of a worker’s salary.

How well is it working out for manufacturers who are using the TAPP program? They have experienced a success rate of 100% on placement, 90% on retention over a one-year time frame, and a reduction of 88% in training costs. The “custom fit” is working so well that two of the placed candidates have been moved into management positions within 6 months of being hired.

If all of this isn’t enough to convince you that the TAPP program is a much smarter alternative to using temporary agencies, take into account the humanitarian side. Your company would be helping individuals who are returning to the workforce after an extended absence and who possess not only the skill set you need, but also the drive and determination to succeed.

If you would like to learn more about the TAPP program and how you can take advantage of this smarter and less expensive alternative to temporary agencies, please contact us. We are happy to help you.

1 American Staffing Association,


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