London SMES are increasingly reliant on temporary workers

Jamie Smith our consultant managing the role

According to research from Sonovate London SMES have become increasingly reliant on temporary workers. New research has revealed that there has been an increase in reliance from small and medium sized businesses in London which has seen an increase in permanent staff requesting to move to contract roles in the years following the pandemic, higher than the UK average of 35%.

Reasons why someone would prefer a temporary employment contract have previously been discussed. SMEs based in London were also more likely to report benefits from hiring contractors or freelancers, with 73% saying temporary workers helped to contribute to a positive culture at their business. Across the UK, the average was 66%.

67% of London SMEs, meanwhile, said that offering flexibility to their workers helped them to attract and retain talent, compared to the nationwide average of 55%. 29% of London businesses reported now being more cautious about hiring permanent staff, compared to 22% of firms across the UK.

The Temporary market

Richard Prime, co-CEO of Sonovate, said, “Rising living costs are forcing people to reassess how they work and how they can maximise their income, for an increasing number, this means moving to freelance or contract work so they can have more control over their finances. For Londoners facing the highest costs in the UK, from commuting and housing prices to nursery fees and the soaring cost of leisure activities, having this control is essential during the cost-of-living crisis.”

The temporary market so far in 2023 has been involved in many ups and downs through the difficult financial climate with the economy showing signs of returning to levels shown last year but throughout the increasingly difficult times the temporary market has seen a real consistency across SMES from entry level roles all the way up to senior qualified roles.  

So, why are SME’s increasingly reliant on temporary workers?


Flexibility

The main benefit of hiring temporary staff is that it gives employers an outstanding level of flexibility for their business. Even though many companies have plans in place to manage the natural fluctuations in their workforce on a day to day basis, staffing needs that arise unexpectedly and urgently will undoubtedly occur. Among other things, there could be an urgent completion date for a project, a new short-term contract or a spike in business activity that requires manpower over and above normal business levels.

In such circumstances, it can be imperative for organisations of varying sizes to have access to skilled labour at short notice to meet their business objectives. There may also be other more common reasons, such as long-term illness, maternity leave or sudden departure, which allow businesses to remain operational in the short term while they consider a long-term strategy. As a result, short-term insurance can also be provided in this case.

Cost Effective

If an organisation has headcount restrictions or payroll restrictions imposed, a short-term temporary worker may be the solution. Hiring temporary staff only when you need them saves your business money. You can hire temps for short durations and not worry about paying excessive wages.  This kind of fluidity is far more efficient, even in larger organisations where staff needs can be reduced based on operating performance.

In addition to saving money, your organisation will also be able to save on advertising, recruiting, hiring, training and providing full time benefits to a permanent employee who may or may not be a good fit. 

Reduces Stress for Existing Staff

The dynamic between temporary and permanent employees can be challenging, but more help in the office boosts spirits. Additionally, temporary employees will help prevent burnout, mandatory overtime, and loss of work-life balance, all of which your full-time staff will appreciate.

How can Marks Sattin help you?

At Marks Sattin, our Consultants make sure to keep abreast of the latest trends in their markets. Finally, a temporary contract is a wonderful opportunity to take on a new challenge, learn new skills, and gain experience in a new industry.

As a specialist recruitment and executive search firm with over 30 years’ experience, we've helped many professionals find their next exciting opportunity, whether that's within global organisations or growing SMEs. If you are considering your options, please reach out to one of our qualified consultants, who are best placed to advise you on your next steps. Register your details to shortlist jobs and sign up for job alerts so you're the first to hear about our latest opportunities.
06/06/24
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