Whether you hire temporary workers in large quantities, or a few at a time to cover gaps in your workforce, your business is part of a growing trend.
A report last year by the Recruitment and Employment Federation (REC) stated that on an average day 1.1 million people are placed in temporary work assignments in the UK.
This research also found that between 2008 and 2014 the number of temporary workers rose by 20%. Meanwhile, there was a tiny 0.3% rise in the number of full-time employees.
There are all sorts of benefits for taking on temp staff, but time and time again at HR GO, we hear our clients champion flexibility as the greatest one. Let’s take a look at why, plus remind ourselves of two more huge reasons.
If your business has fluctuating demand - perhaps because of seasonal variations - there are clear advantages to being able to scale a workforce up or down at the drop of a hat.
For the retail, hospitality and tourism sectors, temporary staff can be taken on when most needed - usually around Christmas and in the summer - then cut back on in quieter periods.
Temp workers don’t require much lead time so they can help with unexpectedly heavy workloads, too. Relieving pressure on permanent staff isn’t just about fulfilling contracts or orders - it’s also savvy long-term as it can help prevent staff absenteeism and turnover.
Permanent staff are, and should always be, the foundations of a healthy, thriving business. But adding temps to the mix - in any sector - can help it adapt to the changing needs of 2015 and beyond.
Sometimes permanent members of staff leave suddenly, for all sorts of reasons - illness, termination or just not working out their full notice period.
If this happens, hiring a temp is the best short-term solution while you search for a permanent replacement.
While we would never advocate only looking at available temps (because you exclude all the people who are just searching for a permanent role) going the temp route can be a relatively low-cost way to ‘test’ potential employees before you commit to hiring them permanently. Seeing someone in action can give you a true picture of their abilities and whether or not they fit with your company - even more so than a raft of interviews or a probation period.
Of course, using a temp employment business like HR GO means the usual interviews, checks, assessments and references associated with recruiting staff are all sorted for you. As is, crucially, payroll.
At HR GO we’re always delighted when a client is so impressed by one our temp workers’ performance that they want to explore taking them on full-time. After all, it means that we’ve done a great job in placing the best person for that role.
REC’s February 2015 Jobs Outlook found that 75% of businesses recruit temporary workers in order to have ‘short-term access to key strategic skills’.
If there’s a project that your permanent staff can’t do, you can bring in temps for that specialised work. Don’t forget the benefits of your employees working alongside specialists, either - it can be a way for them to develop new skills themselves.
In fact, chatting to clients every day at HR GO, we’ve noticed how temps are enjoying a bit of an image rebrand. They’re no longer seen as exclusively low-skilled, but rather valuable assets who bring energy, fresh ideas and motivation to places they choose to work.
It’s important to bear in mind that after temporary workers have spent 12 weeks in the same job with the same hirer, they’re legally entitled to the same basic employment and working conditions as permanent members of staff in equivalent roles.
This is part of the Agency Workers Regulations, which were introduced in October 2011. You can find our more about your responsibilities towards a temporary workforce here.