Temporary recruitment used to be seen as a short-term, interim measure for students or people in between permanent jobs. I should know, I’ve been working in temporary recruitment for nearly 30 years and counting!
But in recent times, the role of the temporary worker has changed. Shifting employee attitudes to work following the pandemic in combination with talent shortages has meant that temporary work is now a career choice rather than a Band-Aid solution.
In this blog, I wanted to talk through some of the changes I’ve seen in the industry over the past few years and how candidates and employers are both benefiting.
Candidates: Temporary by Choice
There was plenty of talk after COVID-19 about people taking stock of their lives and where work fits in. For a while it was called The Great Resignation, but as a specialist temporary recruiter I saw a different side.
Candidates were looking for a more flexible lifestyle, where they could work non-traditional hours that fit around other commitments such as childcare or hobbies. They also wanted more than the standard four weeks of annual leave each year, relishing the opportunity to take longer breaks between work contracts.
Temping can also help candidates who are trying to identify their work purpose. Spending your time doing meaningful work was another theme that came out of the pandemic, and short-term assignments mean candidates get to experience lots of different workplaces and industries.
Opportunities for Permanency
Temporary roles used to be seen as lasting around three to four weeks, but they can now be as long as six months. Temporary candidates are able to get familiar with a company’s culture and gain an understanding of the types of permanent roles available which means temporary assignments could lead to permanent opportunities down the track if both parties agree. This is fantastic for candidates who want to understand a team’s culture and the role as a whole before committing to anything long-term.
Gaining New Skills
Another interesting point to consider is that employers are now investing in training and development for their temporary staff as well. Valuing all members of the team is a good retention strategy, but also means temporary workers can grow and develop into other roles within the organisation. The temporary worker then has the opportunity to decide if they’d like to commit to something longer-term, or simply gain experience and skills in one environment before moving on to the next.
Higher Rates of Pay
Hourly rates of pay have absolutely skyrocketed for temporary workers over the past 18 months. We’ve seen plenty of experienced professionals leave their permanent positions to go temporary, purely for financial reasons.
A Helpful Tip When Applying for a Temporary Role
Something to bear in mind if you’re a temporary jobseeker is that the recruitment process has changed too. Now that employers are committing to longer-term contracts, they also expect more from candidates during the application process.
Similar to permanent recruitment, you can expect to do a formal interview rather than just have a casual chat before being offered the role. We recommend all of our temporary workers are prepared for this, and are ready to showcase their skills and experience.
Employers: More Than a Band-Aid Solution
Plugging Secondment Holes
Something we’ve seen in the past year is the importance of having staff to backfill secondments. With the natural disasters we’ve experienced here in New Zealand, many government organisations and other commercial entities have had to respond quickly and pull people away from their specialisations to support disaster relief. Parachuting temporary workers into those “business as usual” roles has allowed these organisations to stay afloat and reduce stress on the remaining team members during challenging times.
It could be that employers can evaluate the role to ensure it is a viable option for their business moving forward.. Something that looks good on an organisational chart might not necessarily work in the real world, and this allows employers and Hiring Managers to evaluate the role and adapt it before locking in a permanent headcount.
Bridging Recruitment Gaps
While reducing time to hire is always a priority for Hiring Managers, it’s not always a reality and there is normally a period of time between one employee leaving and another one starting. Temporary workers are ideal in this situation because they can hit the ground running and relieve some pressure while the recruitment process is taking place.
Temporary Recruitment Trends and Tips for 2023
We’re seeing a real shift in remote working, with many employers now preferring to have people back in the office. While many temporary workers may want to work in a 100% remote capacity, they will need to be flexible and consider hybrid options as well.
Attitudes towards Temporary Workers
As temporary assignments become longer, employers are seeing temporary workers as more part of their team. After the pandemic, some workplaces felt like they lost their team culture and want to regain some of that lost ground. The benefit for temporary workers is that employers are taking them along for the ride, and treating them like permanent employees ¬ both in terms of investing in their futures (e.g. through training and development) but also helping them feel like more of the team.
Ready to Join the Temporary Revolution?
If you’re looking for your next temporary opportunity or are keen to recruit a temporary worker into your team, give Beyond Recruitment a call.
Our dedicated Temporary Staffing Solutions function is well-connected across New Zealand’s public and private sectors. We have a broad range of roles coming in constantly, from Business & Corporate Support and Customer Services & Call Centre roles to Program Coordinator opportunities.