Liquid Friday Logo

UK Micro-Businesses Reveal Strong Appetite For Agency Workers

Glasgow bridge

Temporary workers remain firmly in the focus of UK employers, including micro-businesses. In its latest JobsOutlook report, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) reveals that a net balance of 18% of the smallest UK companies plan to hire temporary agency workers in the next three months as opposed to a net balance of 9% declaring such intention a month earlier. With micro-businesses making up 95% of UK private sector companies, their willingness to recruit bodes well for temp staff demand.

Overall, 50% of employers polled in March said that they would hire more agency workers over the next quarter. This represents an increase of one percentage point on the February figure. In the longer term (four to 12 months), hiring intentions registered no change month-on-month: 48% of employers revealed plans to bring in more temps over that period.

a quarter of respondents said that they needed temps to “respond to growth.”

The REC survey also highlights the recent shift in motivations for recruiting temporary workers. In March 2012 a quarter of respondents said that they needed temps to “respond to growth.” Two years later, the proportion of employers stating so had risen to 48%. In addition, 60% previously gave “short-term access to key strategic skills” as a key reason for making use of agency workers, while 78% said so during the latest poll. Commenting on these developments, REC head Kevin Green noted that freelancers, interim managers and temporary workers would only gain in importance given the skill shortages in key economic sectors, some examples being IT, engineering and logistics. In order to operate competitively, companies will need to access talent quickly and they will not be able to do that without recourse to contractors and temps, Green added.