Frontline Intelligence: Technology: Temporary workers take on technical roles

This month Nick Southcombe tackles questions around hiring temp workers.

Frontline Intelligence: Technology: Temporary workers take on technical roles

This month Nick Southcombe tackles questions around hiring temp workers.


Should businesses use temporary employees for key technical roles, or are they simply a band-aid solution?


Today more than ever, businesses understand the need for flexibility in the workforce. For many organisations, introducing temporary staff into the employment mix is a best-fit solution. The key, as always, is aligning the workforce with corporate strategy...

Should you source temporary staff?

Businesses choose to take on temporary staff for many reasons. It may simply be a matter of filling essential roles during an employee’s absence, for long service, sick leave or maternity leave, or it may be part of a larger strategy.

Temporary employees help organisations meet demands during busy business periods. They provide relief and stability for permanent staff while helping businesses avoid the cost of hiring a regular employee. For employers faced with the challenge of seasonal customer demand, or temporary surges in trade or short-term projects, temporary employees are the obvious answer.

Many businesses are now choosing to hire temporary staff to access expertise for a given project. Temporary arrangements allow organisations to access skills they might not otherwise have access to, such as specific IT, accountancy, legal skills and payroll.

Benefits for permanent staff

Although hiring temps may be met with suspicion from some permanent employees, having temporary employees as an ongoing solution to fluctuating service levels is actually highly beneficial to permanent staff.

It provides a cushioning effect, protecting permanent staff from the prospects of a business or economic downturn. Highlighting the added job security added by temporary staff can help ease any concerns your permanent staff may have with temporary arrangements.

Agency or direct hire?

Sourcing temporary staff can be challenging. It’s especially challenging when you’re attempting to fill a technical position that requires particular skills and knowledge.

Businesses often look to external staffing agencies and recruiters to help source both large numbers of temporary employees and employees with specialist skills.

Deciding to source your temporary staff directly from the talent pool or via an agency depends greatly on your employment strategy. For employers wishing to fill a key, individual role, your recruitment department may be the best option for accessing a best-fi t candidate. If you intend to implement an ongoing staffing strategy, developing a relationship with an agency may help to streamline the process. This can deliver a clear economic advantage while reducing the burden on your administration.

Choosing a reputable partner-agency is mission-critical. As temporary staff are employed and paid through the agency, it is vital that you can trust the partner to uphold the standards you would expect for and from your own staff.

Best fit still applies

The same care should be taken when hiring temporary employees as you would permanent employees. If anything, it is more important than in normal circumstances that your temporary employee will rapidly acclimatise and reach productivity expectations.

Temporary employees can prove to be a valuable employment strategy if organisations take a best-fit approach. On-demand employment is now part of the corporate mix, helping businesses access specialist skills without going over labour budget.

The demand for temporary workers is on the rise. You may be surprised to find that temporary employment is extending beyond traditional industries such as manufacturing and construction, to become a larger part of corporate Australia.

Not only has this steady growth been seen in administrative roles, but organisations are now more likely to hire temporary employees to fill technical roles. With businesses still recovering from the GFC, temporary workers are now seen by more businesses as an essential part of their employment strategy. 

Frontier Software takes a best-fit approach when matching clients with on-demand payroll staff. Providing staff for critical functions such as payroll requires a thorough understanding of the client’s business. We work with payroll professionals who have come directly from our ranks, so our clients know they’re getting quality payroll staff.


About the author

Nick Southcombe is the General Manager of Frontier Software, an Australian-based global provider of HR and Payroll software and associated services. Nick can be contacted at or by phoning 03 9639 0777. Website:

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