Temporary and contract staff figures are on the rise

by Tiffany Paczek
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The use of temporary and contract staff is set to increase further in Australia, according to recruiting experts Hays.

Data from the recruiter shows 24 percent of employers now engage contract and temporary staff on a regular ongoing basis. Another 42 percent do so for special projects or workloads.

Looking ahead, 22 percent intend to further increase their use of temporary and contract staff throughout 2018-19.

The use of such staff will be highest in project management departments, where 47 percent of employers intend to increase their temporary and contract headcount. This is followed by information technology (33 percent), strategy & consulting (31 percent), marketing (30 percent), engineering (25 percent), general management and human resources (both 21 percent), distribution (20 percent), operational management and sales (both 18 percent), purchasing/procurement (13 percent) and accountancy & finance (12 percent).

“A rise in projects, workload peaks, the on-demand and as-needed nature of assignments and the shortage of highly-skilled professionals for permanent positions has driven up demand for temporary and contract staff in many organisations,” says Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand.

“Demand exists at all levels. We’re even seeing highly-skilled executives now choosing project-based roles.”

As for the skills employers want temporary employees to bring to their team, over half (51 percent) look for problem solving skills. This is followed by communication and technical or digital skills (both 45 percent), critical thinking (33 percent) and project management skills (31 percent).

Further down the list are vocational (20 percent), stakeholder engagement (19 percent), commercial or business development (16 percent) and management skills (11 percent).

Consider temporary assignments

“With almost one quarter of employers now using temporary and contract staff on a regular, ongoing basis, there are a lot of employment opportunities that are passing you by if you are not open to this form of working,” says Deligiannis.

“Temporary assignments allow you to gain experience in new industries, business cultures and projects, develop new contacts and push you out of your comfort zone. This will all have a positive impact on your long-term career advancement.”

Hays surveyed 3000-plus organisations on their use of temporary staff as part of its annual Hays Salary Guide. Get your copy by visiting www.hays.com.au/salary.

Image: 123Rf’s Andriy Popov © 123RF.com

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