Around three quarters of Australian employers have experienced the same or increased demand for temporary workers over the previous year, according to new survey results.
The statistic is just one of several in a growing body of evidence indicating the entrenchment of temporary workers in the modern workforce.
The survey, conducted by Hays, also found that almost a quarter of employers believe temporary workers are essential to the success of their organisation and some 30% of organisations view temporary workers as an essential component of their long-term staffing strategies.
In comparison, just 11.8% of employers hired temporary workers as a temporary cost reduction measure.
The majority of organisations said their workforce comprised 0-25% temporary workers, while 10% had 26-50% temporary workers. The industries where temporary workers are most prevalent were the public sector, construction, property and engineering, and resources and mining.
“Temporary workers offer employers a flexible alternative to permanent staff who can help fill short-term and longer contracts and their expertise can be used for special projects,” Jason Walker, managing director Hays said.
The chief benefits reported by respondents included:
Providing relief for permanent staff
Hiring particular expertise for special projects
And the benefits go both ways: 96.3% of temporary workers said they would be willing to take on future temporary assignments. “Many people want greater flexibility in their working arrangements and consequently there is a temporary worker candidate pool who are only interested in temporary assignments,” Walker said.
However, Walker warned that it is paramount to select the right candidates for temporary appointments, so that they fit in with the organisational culture and don’t disrupt productivity.