South African companies are increasingly looking to hire temporary and contract workers due to market uncertainties and slow downs, says specialist recruitment firm Michael Page.
The group said that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some companies may be apprehensive about recruiting full-time positions. By comparison, the inherent flexibility of temporary workers makes them an attractive talent pool.
Whilst various skills may be required in the market at any give time, Michael Page said the following skills were in clear demand for the duration of 2020:
- IT Specialists: Technology advancements and many organisations’ undergoing digital transformation, hiring IT specialists on a project-by-project basis has proven to be a working solution, incorporating the work-from-home flexibility. Having sound processes in place helps because this would avoid the time spent getting the temp workers ‘up to speed’.
- Change Management / Turnaround Specialists: Organisations are having to restructure their businesses to accommodate the ‘new normal’. For this, professionals with expertise in formulating change strategies are in demand, so that businesses can develop cultures of agility and responsiveness in order to stay competitive.
- Finance Project Experts: With many businesses adversely impacted in terms of their finances, specialists are in demand with forecasting and decision-making experience.
Why South African companies are turning to temporary and contract hiring
With many organisations demanding temporary workers, usually on an urgent basis, the hiring process tends to be significantly shorter compared to that of a permanent hire, Micahel Page said.
“This is mainly due to the fact that an immediate start is normally required from temp roles.
“Ultimately, in today’s fast-paced world, businesses need to plan to drive and execute recovery strategies and transformation projects – this requires talent with the right skills and expertise and more crucially, at the time when they need it most. ”
Taking up a temporary position can also help professionals learn and develop, as well as stay abreast of changes in their industry, the firm said.
“Talent who have been made redundant or find themselves in a long job search process and out of employment, can use temporary jobs to eliminate career gaps
“If it is not a conflict of interest with their current job, professionals can take up temporary work as it may allow them to do something different and also earn an additional income.”
Michael Page said that there are also clear benefits for organisations, including:
- Productivity does not get hampered during uncertain times;
- Hiring ‘plug-and-play’ talent allows for quick turnaround times on projects;
- Continuity on the job for standard situations like maternity leave or during a permanent recruitment process for a role;
- Surge the capacity during heavy times or increased periods of activity e.g financial year end, projects with tight deadlines, etc;
- Temp hiring is a cost alternative as they don’t come with the costs typically associated with permanent positions;
- This is a solution for companies to ‘try out’ potential future hires, especially for challenging markets creating a sense of uncertainty around headcount strategy;
- If businesses have a headcount freeze, or for instance, do not have a legal entity in South Africa, they can hire temps.