Temp assignments more than band-aid fix: Survey

by Human Capital04 Dec 2012

The use of temporary workers in Australia is no longer a quick fix but a long-term staffing solution for employers, a survey has revealed.

A Hays survey of temp workers and their employers found 31.2% of organisations consider temp workers to be a key component of a long-term staffing strategy. This ranks above their use to overcome permanent headcount restrictions (25.8%).

A further 24.2% of employers consider temp workers to be essential to the success of their organisation, while just 11.8% see them as a temporary cost reduction measure.

The survey also shows demand for temp workers has been on the rise. When asked if their use of temp workers has changed over the past 12 months, 35.8% of employers said it has increased. 83.1% of employers say temp workers constitute up to 25% of their workforce.

“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,” said Carolyn Dickason, regional director of Hays Human Resources.

Just over 70% of employers say flexibility is an advantage of using temporary workers, while 54.1% find it advantageous that they can hire particular expertise for special projects.

Another bonus of using temporary workers is the relief it can provide permanent staff. Sixty per cent of the employers surveyed say it is one of the benefits they like.

“Rather than continuously redistributing work between current permanent employees, which can reduce productivity, increase stress and may negatively impact on health and safety, temporary resources can instead support a permanent team,” said Dickason.

“For the employer, there is also a reduced administrative burden as temporary workers are paid by a recruitment agency, are fully interviewed and reference checked, and have undertaken any necessary pre-employment medicals, safety checks and OHS training.

“It is vital, however, employers make sure the temporary workers they hire are right for the job to ensure productivity and a good cultural fit.”

The Hays survey shows the public sector (28.9%), construction, property and engineering (21.9%) and resources and mining (17.1%) industries are most using temporary workers.

Meanwhile, 96.3% of temporary workers say they are willing to take another temporary assignment in future. This suggests that the growth of temporary assignments has also been driven by candidates, many of whom are only interested in this type of work.



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