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Temporary Workers – the benefits

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Widespread use of temporary workers, including contractors and agency workers, is not a new phenomenon. Their use by British companies has been rising for a number of years. In May, there was a steep rise in billing from temporary workers, despite the number of permanent placements falling for the third time this year. 

In part, these changes have been exacerbated by the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Brexit has led to the lowest level of job vacancies since 2012, making recruitment of shorter-term staff the safer option for many companies facing the great unknown. But this isn’t the only reason for the trend. There are many compelling benefits to temporary workers which transcend the economic and political climate. Here we look at why so many companies rely on temporary workers.

There’s less commitment required

Let’s start with the obvious here; a temporary worker is just that, temporary. There’s no commitment to a salary or benefits package past the contractual period, minimising the financial impact on the company. Hires can be based on a short-term outlook, rather than considering any lasting impact.

This shorter-term benefit isn’t only a financial one. Your company is able to try someone in a position that may not previously have existed, or where you’re unsure whether there’s sufficient workload for a full-time member of staff. It’s an opportunity for a dry run, without the danger of an impending redundancy if it doesn’t work out. 

It’s adaptable

Hiring temps when you need them allows you to address the ever-changing needs of your company, as well as support your permanent staff when they need it most. During spikes in workload, for specific projects or busier periods for example.

Temporary staff can also be utilised to fill short-term vacancies, which may need to be covered due to maternity leave or sickness of a permanent employee.

They bring new perspectives

More talent results in more ideas. The higher the number of people that are brought on-board from external sources, the greater the amount of fresh perspectives and experience your company can benefit from. And temporary workers often have a great deal more experience to draw on. They’re likely to have worked within a vast array of other companies and organisations – a great thing for the diversity of your team. Coming at a situation with ‘fresh eyes’ can be a huge advantage when it comes to problem solving. Your permanent staff are likely to learn new skills and ways of doing things from any short-term workers you employ. Ultimately, the advantage to your company tends to extend beyond the temporary period. 

The hiring process is quicker

Hiring a temp is generally a quicker and simpler process than recruiting a permanent member of the team. You’re able to focus primarily on the skillset that you require right here, right now.

You can benefit from their expertise

It may be that you have an upcoming project which requires a very specific set of skills and/or experience that your company just doesn’t have in-house. A contractor can be your saviour here, and you can select them based on exactly what’s needed to succeed in that project. You won’t have to consider their adaptability to future work, as you would with a permanent member of staff.  

They have an immediate impact

Temporary staff are experienced in adjusting to new companies and projects and getting to work quickly. If you’re in need of a candidate to help with an impending project, you might be better off with a temp than rushing to recruit a full-time employee. Because they’re used to producing results quickly, temporary workers are likely to have a greater impact within a shorter period of time. Whereas a permanent team member might require more time to adjust and be inducted into the company before making their mark. 

You can ‘try before you buy’

Another great advantage of temps? They make fantastic permanent staff. It may well be that a temporary hire proves to be such an asset that you want to make them a permanent addition to your team. The luxury of having first-hand experience of how they collaborate with the rest of your employees allows you to make an informed decision. The temp has the same opportunity, so any longer-term commitment is far more likely to be successful. 

In summary, employing temporary staff can have some huge advantages for your company. Of course, there’s no denying that permanent employees are hugely valuable, but as mentioned, hiring temporary workers to fill gaps in the workforce and top up on existing skills shortages, can actually benefit them, as well as your company. 

In order to use temporary workers effectively, it’s important to remember that on the whole, both short and long-term staff have the same needs. There have been a number of stories in the press recently regarding mis-treatment of short-term workers and contractors, which has led to discontentment across the board. To get the best out of all staff members, and your company as a whole, it’s vital to ensure that their needs are met and that they’re fully engaged. In the end, the better an employer you are, the more readily you’ll attract the best talent, regardless of the length of their contract.  

Whether you’re looking to fill a temporary or permanent position, at Headway Recruitment, our 35 years’ worth of experience, combined with psychometric testing, means that we’re perfectly placed to find you the right candidate. 

Mark Gill

By Mark Gill

Recruitment Director with a proven record of providing world class hires at all levels of office and management positions within the Leeds Bradford region. We use our unique Headway Recruitment Platform incorporating psychometric testing to find the top candidates. If you want access to the full local talent pool get in contact with the team at Headway. We help companies achieve growth through our unique approach. This ensures the candidates we place are the perfect fit. Companies are then best placed to get the best from each individual as they understand their motivating traits. Proud to be recognised as preferred supplier for several businesses in the Sunday Times top 100 firms to work for.
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