The latest research from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) in the UK has found that many businesses are planning to or are seeking temporary workers to help them recover from the effects of the pandemic.
In its latest JobsOutlook report, which covers the period from May to July, the organisation found that hiring intentions for agency workers was at 6+, its highest level since the October to December period of 2019.
The survey also found that businesses are slightly more likely to recruit temporary than permanent staff in the coming three months, which is the first time that demand for temporary workers has outstripped permanent workers in two years.
When asked why they were focusing on hiring temporary workers, 67 per cent of businesses revealed that it was to give them short-term access to the key skills that they needed at their firm.
However, the intention to hire permanent staff was also up to 5+ in the REC research, which indicates that confidence is returning to many areas of the jobs market.
Chief executive of the REC Neil Carberry commented: “While the path ahead is still uncertain, temporary work helps firms create jobs sooner, and helps people who need new jobs get back to earning quickly.”
Research conducted by the REC also shows that 39 per cent of Brits have taken temporary, contract or freelance roles during their working lives, with the majority doing so by choice.
What’s more, many people consider it a stepping stone into permanent employment, with this supported by the figures as 68 per cent of those who have taken temporary roles in the past are now in permanent positions.
If you think that you may make some or all of your temporary workers permanent, it’s essential that you carry out pre-employment screening in the same way you would if you were hiring for a permanent position.
However, it seems that many people face increased competition for jobs, with the number of applicants applying for positions growing significantly in recent months.
We recently shared a report in the Guardian, which revealed that the number of people in paid employment in Britain had fallen by 650,000 since March, when the UK locked down and the Covid-19 pandemic was at its height.
One recruitment consultant told the newspaper that, rather than just receiving ten or 20 applications for a position, which would previously have been considered good, they are now receiving hundreds.
The Independent recently reported that there could be even more people entering the job seeking market in the UK, with the newspaper revealing that the number of people who have lost their jobs since March is now at 730,000.
It also shared figures relating to the number of weekly hours worked between April and June this year, compared to 2019. This showed that the number of weekly hours worked in these months was 203.13 million hours lower than in the same quarter of 2019.
This also represented a fall of 191.3 million hours compared to the first quarter of 2020, before the effects of the pandemic were fully felt.
Agenda offer pre-employment screening for numerous different sectors. Whether you’re recruiting in house, or on behalf of someone else, for temporary or permanent roles, we can help. Get in touch with one of our team to find out more.