Despite uncertainty about Britain’s future in Europe and Brexit concerns, the recruitment sector remains buoyant in the UK, particularly temporary recruitment.
A survey compiled in 2015 showed the UK’s recruitment industry boasted a net fee income increase of 83% that year. The report tributes its success to the healthy state of the economy. With a positive economic outlook for 2016 and 2017 reported, the recruitment sector can look forward with optimism.
Confidence is high within the industry. As the UK Recruitment Index 2015 found, 30% of the 200 recruitment firms interviewed intend to open more branches this year, with a strategy to focus on staff training and flexible employment to deliver continued growth.
Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business at tax, audit and advisory services firm KPMG commented:
“A strong year for the UK jobs market finished with a flourish as temporary roles saw an upswing in popularity. More than 1 in 3 recruiters suggest that employees looking for short-term roles are being increasingly spoilt for choice as organisations search for help in an effort to fulfil customer orders.”
The focus on flexible employment as part of the growth strategy is poignant. In a Recent article in This Is Money, it is reported that in March, the UK saw a sharp rise in the hiring of temporary staff. The report points to uncertainty surrounding the UK’s EU membership referendum and government cuts in funding as the key factors driving this upturn.
REC director of policy Tom Hadley spoke of how the forthcoming European referendum is affecting recruitment in the UK, creating a higher demand for temporary recruitment.
“Global economic headwinds plus uncertainty around a possible Brexit make it likely that slower growth in permanent hiring will remain over the next few months as employers take a wait-and-see approach,” said Hadley.
“In contrast, temporary hiring is on the up as businesses seek to meet increasing demand while retaining the ability to react quickly to any threats that might be around the corner,” the REC director continued.
Future employment trends
The forecast for growth in the temporary employment market is also predicted internationally. Research carried out by CareerBuilder in the U.S – canvassing 90 national and state employment resources – predicts huge growth in this area over the next few years, especially within the IT sector. The CareerBuilder study found:
Occupation Temp Jobs (2014) Temp Jobs (2019) Increase
Computer Systems Analysts 11,802 14,024 19 %
Computer User Support Specialists 19,597 22,276 14 %
Software Developers 11,698 13,292 14 %
Contract to permanent
Despite substantial negative press in recent times surrounding temporary work and zero hour’ contracts, flexible employment, or gig working has many benefits. Augmenting a work/life balance and being able to fit work around personal commitments is one of the primary benefits of temping. As is the prospect that temporary work can lead to something more permanent, enabling both employers and candidates to ‘test the water’ of a particular role before committing to a permanent position.