REC Jobs Outlook: Modern-day temps provide companies with strategic skills, earn more than permanent employees

Wednesday, 24 June 2015


Employers are investing more resources to attract the temporary workers they need to provide ‘key strategic skills’, according to the latest JobsOutlook survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).


When asked about their methods for finding candidates for temporary roles (other than recruitment agencies) just four per cent of employers said ‘people approach us’, a fall of ten percentage points over the last 12 months. In the same time frame, the use of off-line advertising has doubled, with 15 per cent of employers now posting vacancies via ads in magazines, newspapers, and shop and office windows.


In the past temps have been seen as a resource to help cope with peaks in demand or when permanent staff are absent, but this latest survey finds eight out of ten employers say they hire temporary workers for ‘short-term access to key strategic skills’. As a reflection of the new strategic importance that many employers give to contractors and agency staff, 65 per cent report that their temps earn more than they would if they were employed on a permanent basis.


REC chief executive Kevin Green says:


“Candidate availability is extremely low and as a result more employers are offering lucrative short-term assignments, especially in fields such as engineering. Temporary work has historically been associated with the lower-skilled end of the jobs market, but we’re seeing the profile of agency workers change as more people choose to work in this way because of the pay and flexibility it offers.”


With almost all employers (97 per cent) reporting to have ‘no’ or ‘little’ capacity to take on more work without an increase in staff, hiring intentions remain high. Six in ten employers (63 per cent) plan to increase permanent staff in the next three months, and seven in ten (70 per cent) plan to increase headcount in the next 4-12 months.


Ninety-seven per cent plan to increase or maintain current number of agency workers in the next 3 months, with the same proportion planning to increase or maintain current number of agency workers over the next 4-12 months.

Posted: Wed 24 Jun 2015
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