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Your next step on the career ladder is temporary

Media release Monday 8 September 2008

Your next step on the career ladder is temporary

In another sign of the changing job market, a new survey shows companies worldwide are increasingly hiring finance and accounting professionals on temporary contracts for projects and short-term roles.

The latest Global Financial Employment Monitor by international recruitment specialist Robert Half shows increasing worldwide reliance on temporary appointments – both to fill skill gaps and to evaluate candidates for permanent positions.

In New Zealand, almost 30% of companies that use temporary recruits say they are using them more now than three years ago, while only around 15% say they are using fewer temporary recruits than three years ago.

But this is dwarfed by the figures from Singapore and France, where 33% and 32% of companies respectively say they are now using more temporary recruits than they were three years ago.

Companies are also relying much more strongly on temporary professionals in Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Dubai, Spain, Switzerland and Germany.

New Zealand managers say the main advantage in hiring temporary recruits is that it gives their companies access to specialist skills they might not already have. They also believe temporary professionals bring a fresh perspective to companies, and are useful in handling peaks in workload.

Internationally, more companies are also hiring senior financial professionals as temporary project managers. Human resource managers in 16 out of the 20 countries surveyed say they are more likely to hire temporary project managers now than three years ago.

And New Zealand companies now believe temporary employment is the most reliable way of assessing a job candidate’s suitability for a permanent job.

More than a third of companies (35%) say performance while on temporary assignment is the most reliable way of judging a candidate’s suitability, followed by reference checking, at 27%, and performance during an interview at 15%.

Globally, 38% of companies say performance on temporary assignment is the most reliable way of judging a candidate’s suitability, followed by performance during an interview (29%).

Megan Alexander, senior manager with Robert Half in Auckland, says the survey shows what many recruiters and candidates had been observing for two or three years – that temporary assignments can be good career moves.

“Rather than leaving positions vacant while they search for a permanent employee, many companies are now hiring temporary recruits to fill the gaps,” says Ms Alexander. “Frequently, if the fit between the temporary recruit and the company is good, that assignment will lead to permanent employment.

“In such situations not only has the candidate already proved that they are capable of the job, but the company has proved to the candidate that it is a good employer that will provide a satisfying and rewarding work environment.”

Ms Alexander says Robert Half has also responded to the trend towards hiring more senior financial specialists for project work by launching its Management Resources division in Auckland, providing senior finance and accounting personnel for short-term and project assignments.


ENDS

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