You are working on one the biggest projects of the year, and one of the key players on your team says she is leaving to move to another state — what do you do?

Or in another scenario, an important part of your office staff calls from the hospital; he has been in an accident and will be out of work for at least six-weeks — what do you do?

More than likely, you call a temporary staffing agency and ask for help. But did you know that if you are in need of a welder or computer programmer or newspaper reporter, the same a temporary staffing agency might be the right call as well.

One of the industries largest and most recognized temp agencies is Kelly Services. Started by William Russell Kelly in 1946, the company provided temporary clerical staff to businesses at a central office and then expanded to on-site help. Because most of the employees were women, the term “Kelly Girls,” became a catch phrase for all temps. So prevalent was the tag that the company changes its name to Kelly Girl Services in 1957.

Allyson Emerson is the recruiting manager for Kelly Services’s Sherman office, and she explained how the modern temp agency operates in today’s business and industrial environment.

“We place individuals in jobs across the board, and while we started as company that would send a secretary or receptionist — those were the Kelly Girls — to a business, in our area,” she said. “We specialize in more industrial and light manufacturing positions. We have a lot of machine operators, forklift drivers, welders here in the Texoma area.”

And unlike the original short term employment, many of the people Emerson places step into permanent jobs.

“Most of the jobs aren’t temporary,” Emerson said. “We’ve sort of gotten away from that. Many of our positions lead to careers for our employees. We try to match people up with jobs that match their skills and what they are looking for in long-term opportunities.”

The cost for Kelly’s services are borne by the employer.

“When someone comes to our office looking for work, the employee is never going to incur any charges or anything deducted from their paycheck,” Emerson said. “We’re usually notified if the job is just for a specific period of time or if it is an opportunity for full-time work. More often than not, we have a lot people that make that transition.”

Kelly Services has 150 to 200 employees placed in the Texoma area at any given time. Emerson said that because many of the industrial openings are entry level positions, they see applicants just out of school who can fill the bill. For those with more experience, they are looking for people with stable job histories.

“Some people come in thinking we have a job for just about everyone, but not always the case,” she said. “Still we keep their information in our data base and if something comes up that fits them.”

Emerson said that Kelly Services works with the other temp agencies in the area as well as the local office of the Texas Workforce Commission to fill the needs of employers to place willing employees.

“I don’t want to deter anyone who doesn’t have a résumé put together to think that they can’t walk into our office,” Emerson said. “We have a very good and experienced staff and we really enjoy what we do. What makes that so rewarding is helping people, and if they don’t have a résumé or are unsure about their interviewing skills, we can assist with those things as well.”

So at the bottom line, is it beneficial for employers and job seekers to go through a staffing agency?

“Sometimes it is; sometimes it’s not,” said Emerson. “But, it never hurts to give us a call.”

Edward Southerland is a feature writer for Best of Texoma. For more information, visit or