Temporary workers for the long-term

by HCA13 Dec 2012

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:

  • Flexibility
  • 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.


  • by Malcolm King 14/12/2012 2:58:03 PM

    Hays has the largest volume of temp/casual applicants on its books in Australia.

    The entrenchment of temp workers is OK if you want to be a temp worker. Unfortunately we are seeing an underclass of casuals who are working piecemeal shifts because that's all they can get. In France, it has turned in to a crisis.

    The concept of flexibility turns on the question - flexible for who? I would politely suggest that overall the winners here, in the long run, are employers.

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