02 Oct 2019

The rise of Temporary hiring during uncertain times

Rob Davis

Temporary recruitment is on the rise.

Working in recruitment, I have been closely watching the growing demand for temporary staff to fill temporary positions, and the rising demand from employees to work on temporary contracts.

Mounting temporary hiring was notable in the run up to the EU Referendum in 2016, when, due to the uncertainty of the Referendum, the hiring of temporary staff began to pick up.

Three years later, with Britain engulfed in even greater Brexit turmoil and uncertainty, the trend for recruiting staff on a temporary basis continues to grow.

Figures from REC’s Report On Jobs, January 2019 issue, found that in December 2018, billings of temporary/contract staff increased at a sharper rates than its historical average.

I think it’s important to note that today’s prevalence of temp staffing mimics the high levels of temporary recruitment that reared its head during the economic turmoil of the 2008 recession.

During this particularly volatile time, companies turned to contract workers to bring in fresh ideas and perspectives while reducing overhead costs.

As the UK Commission for Employment and Skills’ (UKCES) report titled ‘The Labour Market Story: The UK Following Recession’ notes, the recession led to a “sustained increase in the use of fixed period contracts and casual employment.”

The benefits of temporary hiring during uncertain times

I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that rising rates of temporary hiring coincides with economic uncertainty and tentative business times.

On the contrary, there are numerous reasons why taking on staff to fill temporary positions and projects, makes sound business sense during periods of uncertainty.


  1. Meeting short-term workloads

Unexpected peaks in workloads require short-term business support. When hard times rear their head, hiring temporary staff provides the ideal solution to bringing in short-term business support.

  1. Cost-effective method of recruitment

When uncertainty bites, businesses of all industries and sizes need to ‘tighten their belts’ to remain competitive and keep afloat.


As temporary employees only work on specified projects or for specific hours, they are only paid for the time they have worked, or until the project is completed. This contrasts to permanent staff, most of which are paid full-time, permanent salaries.


  1. Try before you buy!

Did you know that the price tag of making a single bad hire costs a company approximately £20,000?


Rather than pumping time, money and effort into recruiting and training a permanent member of staff, only to realise the individual is unsuitable for the position, taking on temporary staff enables you to determine their suitability.

By taking on temp workers, you can establish their overall suitability to the job and company without the financial burden of making a permanent job offer.

  1. Specialist skillsets and rich experience

With the promise of greater flexibility and a better work/life balance, I’m not surprised that a growing army of today’s workforce are opting to be recruited on a temporary basis.


Today’s temp workers are armed with specialist skillsets and a wealth of experience working for different employers and on different projects.


Consequently, taking on temp staff is an effective way to bridge skills gaps, which is especially advantageous during times of uncertainty.

If you want to learn more about hiring temporary staff, I’m always willing to offer help and advice about this burgeoning segment of recruitment.


Get in touch with Twentyfour Recruitment for all your recruitment needs.