Survey reveals Oxfordshire businesses are not making the most of skilled temporary workers

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Oxfordshire businesses may be missing a trick by not using temporary workers to plug management gaps at a time when unprecedented numbers of highly experienced, senior people are entering the jobs market.

In a recent survey of Oxfordshire HR decision-makers, 64 per cent said they used temporary workers for junior roles while 22 per cent said they used temps for unskilled work.

Almost all the businesses surveyed said they looked for temps when they needed administrative assistance.

The survey was carried out by Oxfordshire independent recruitment consultancy, Allen Associates, to better understand the role of temporary workers in Oxfordshire’s economic recovery.

Kate Allen, Managing Director at Allen Associates, said: “Over the last few months, we have seen a significant rise in the number of enquiries from Oxfordshire employers looking for an extra pair of hands, often at very short notice, across a range of business support functions.

“This demand for temporary workers together with recent national reports which highlighted similar trends, prompted us to reach out to our network of clients and contacts within the Oxfordshire business community to better understand the extent to which temps were helping them to bridge gaps and realise new opportunities during this period of unprecedented change and uncertainty.

“What we found was that although just under half of the employers and HR decision-makers that responded to our survey had taken on temps, it was clear that this was mostly to provide administrative support – and at a fairly junior level. Before the pandemic, when highly skilled, experienced staff were in short supply and high demand, employers may have found it difficult to find the right people for temporary roles at a senior level. However, the employment market has been turned on its head and we are now seeing increasing numbers of top quality candidates looking for temporary work until such time as more permanent roles become available.

“There is a real opportunity for employers who are unable to grow their headcount at this time to inject fresh creativity, insights, the latest know-how and strategic thinking by bringing temporary managers and directors into their business. It is also an effective and cost-effective way to share knowledge, experience and industry insights and to upskill existing staff members.”

Read the full report on ‘The Role of Temporary Workers in Oxfordshire’s Economic Recovery’.