UK Businesses Not Making the Most of Temporary Workforce

New Survey from Angela Mortimer Plc reveals large gap between employer and candidate perceptions of temporary work

5 June 2006 – UK Businesses are failing to make the most of their temporary workers according to a new survey of 100 clients and 100 temporary workers by recruitment consultancy, Angela Mortimer Plc. A worrying 88% of temporary workers claim their skills are not being fully used by employers, 34% feel they are not at all stretched in their work and only 17% of respondents are learning new skills.

The survey unveiled that the majority of today temps (59%) see temping as a stepping stone to a permanent role. Gaining new skills and work experience to aid career progression is the key motivator for 65% of candidates. Temps are crying out for greater challenges in their work and are looking for more interesting roles (45%) and career progression (34%). These outcomes mirror the findings of Angela Mortimer Plc’s Annual Salary Survey – The Blue Book, released in January 2006, in which career progression was cited as the number one driver for all candidates looking for a new role or to change career.

Ashley Williams, Director of Partnership Products, at Angela Mortimer Plc states,

“In today’s competitive market, the majority of temps are looking for a step up on the career ladder. They are highly motivated individuals, hungry to improve their skills and progress and willing to go the extra mile to prove themselves to prospective employers.”

In terms of industry sector, candidates are flexible. 81% of candidates are willing to work in any industry to gain new skills and at least 30% welcome the chance to try out new industries to further their development. These priorities were considered more important than salary levels.

65% of temporary workers feel as or more skilled than permanent employees and it seems that this view is confirmed by businesses. Over 60% of UK businesses surveyed recognise that temps have the same or higher skill levels than their permanent staff. They also claim that the temps they use are of better or equal value for money and are as or more committed to their jobs.

This begs the question why UK businesses are not making more use of their temporary workforce. Instead of harnessing the talent of their temporary workforce, it appears that most companies are taking a short term view to employing temps. They mainly use them to cover holidays and sickness (44%) and to help with specific projects (46%). Only 10% of companies claim to be testing their temps’ skills with a view to offering permanent work.

“Businesses are losing out by using temps as a stop gap measure. Whilst they recognise that temporary workers are as or more skilled than their permanent staff; they are not harnessing their skills or giving them the challenging and interesting roles they desire. If businesses were willing to take on more temporary staff and adjust their mindset, they could go a long way towards improving their business productivity and competitive edge,” Williams added.


About Angela Mortimer Plc

Founded in 1976, Angela Mortimer Plc is Britain's leading quality recruitment consultancy. With over 200 consultants in the group, it provides support staff to the UK's leading companies and individuals. The company has four offices in London, and others in Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester, Bristol, Paris and Brussels.

Other companies within the Angela Mortimer group include Pathfinders Media Recruitment, Design Studio People, PA Search, Knightsbridge Secretaries, Katie Bard Birmingham & Nottingham, The Goddard Group, AM Tech, IT Staffing, HR Counsel, AM Finance, AM Law, AM International, Preferred Financial Recruitment(PFR), Ruth Halliday Associates, Progresis - Paris, Femmes et Carrières - Paris, Excel Careers - Brussels, Excel Interim - Brussels.

For further information, please contact:

Kathryn Hughes
Hbl media
Tel: 020 612 1830