Employers are turning to temps and contractors amid ongoing uncertainty over Brexit and the state of the economy, a wide-ranging survey has found.
The poll of 600 business owners and hiring decision makers suggests that many organisations are putting off permanent hiring decisions until the economic picture becomes clearer.
Fragile economy = fragile hiring confidence
The proportion of temp and contract hirers planning to increase headcount over the next year has doubled in a month, from 11% to 22%. The comparable current figure for permanent staff is just 17%.
Meanwhile, just 20% of hirers are unsure of their plans for hiring temporary agency workers – down from 32% a month ago “as some employers begin to make plans” for the next four to 12 months.
Temps also beat perms when it comes to immediate hiring plans.
Why employers are turning to temps
The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), which produced the JobsOutlook survey, said the findings show that employers are still uncertain about hiring.
REC director of policy Tom Hadley said:
Businesses are still pessimistic about the future of the economy. However, with the one-year countdown to Brexit … it’s got to a point where they can’t put off making hiring plans any longer.
Employers are potentially turning to temps, which could bring opportunities to candidates interested in temporary work and the flexibility it affords, but is also a sign employers are affected by economic and political uncertainty.
Hiring temps ‘less risky’
Mr Hadley added:
It’s less risky to bring people in to meet demand and keep them for a limited time, rather than spend the time hiring a new permanent member of staff when you don’t know what business will look like in the next year.
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