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Temporary assignments – not just a quick fix

Temporary assignments – not just a quick fix

The use of temporary workers in New Zealand is no longer a quick fix but a long-term staffing solution for employers, a survey by recruiting experts Hays has revealed.

The Hays survey of temporary workers and their employers found 31.2 per cent of organisations consider temporary workers to be a key component of a long-term staffing strategy. This ranks above their use to overcome permanent headcount restrictions (25.8 per cent).

A further 24.2 per cent of employers consider temporary workers to be essential to the success of their organisation, while just 11.8 per cent see them as a temporary cost reduction measure.

The survey also shows demand for temporary workers has been on the rise. When asked if their use of temporary workers has changed over the past 12 months, 35.8 per cent of employers said it has increased. 83.1 per cent of employers say temporary workers constitute up to 25 per cent of their workforce.

“Temporary workers offer employers a flexible alternative to permanent staff who can help fill short-term and longer contracts and their expertise can be used for special projects,” says Jason Walker, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand.

72.7 per cent of employers say flexibility is an advantage of using temporary workers, while 54.1 per cent find it advantageous that they can hire particular expertise for special projects.

Another bonus of using temporary workers is the relief it can provide permanent staff. 60 per cent of the employers surveyed say it is one of the benefits they like.

“Rather than continuously redistributing work between current permanent employees, which can reduce productivity, increase stress and may negatively impact on health and safety, temporary resources can instead support a permanent team,” says Jason.

“For the employer, there is also a reduced administrative burden as temporary workers are paid by a recruitment agency, are fully interviewed and reference checked, and have undertaken any necessary pre-employment medicals, safety checks and OHS training.

“It is vital, however, employers make sure the temporary workers they hire are right for the job to ensure productivity and a good cultural fit.”

The Hays survey shows the public sector (28.9 per cent), construction, property and engineering (21.9 per cent) and resources and mining (17.1 per cent) industries are most using temporary workers.

Meanwhile, 96.3 per cent of temporary workers say they are willing to take another temporary assignment in future. This suggests that the growth of temporary assignments has also been driven by candidates, many of whom are only interested in this type of work.

“Many people want greater flexibility in their working arrangements and consequently there is a temporary worker candidate pool who are only interested in temporary assignments,” says Jason.

“These workers also have the chance to advance their skills and career on more flexible terms with a variety of tasks and workloads, or it could mean a better work/life balance.”

Hays will soon publish the full report of the survey results at

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

- Ends -

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