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 per cent of employers now engage contract and temporary staff on a regular ongoing basis. Another 42 per cent do so for special projects or workloads. Looking ahead, 22 per cent 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 per cent of employers intend to increase their temporary and contract headcount. This is followed by information technology (33 per cent), strategy and consulting (31 per cent), marketing (30 per cent), engineering (25 per cent), general management and human resources (both 21 per cent), distribution (20 per cent), operational management and sales (both 18 per cent), purchasing/procurement (13 per cent) and accountancy & finance (12 per cent).
“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 & 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 per cent) look for problem solving skills. This is followed by communication and technical or digital skills (both 45 per cent), critical thinking (33 per cent) and project management skills (31 per cent).
Further down the list are vocational (20 per cent), stakeholder engagement (19 per cent), commercial or business development (16 per cent) and management skills (11 per cent).
“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 Nick. “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.”