How Coronavirus is Impacting Temporary Recruitment

Temporary recruitment has been a lifeline for many businesses since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic. The availability of both temporary, temp to perm and fixed term contract roles were much higher during 2020 and this is a trend which has continued in the early part of 2021.

For many businesses up and down the country, temporary staff have enabled them to access short-term skills, either as a result of a change of demand, to fill available positions or to cover absence. As lockdowns begins to ease once more, it is likely that businesses will continue to utilise temporary workers as a way to help them rebuild in the aftermath of the pandemic, whilst still being cautious of uncertainty. Indeed, recruiting temporary workers means they can plug skills gaps quickly without having to commit to long term contracts.

In addition to this, as the number of vacancies declined during 2020 and the number or redundancies rose, the increased availability of temporary work was also beneficial to the large number of people who found themselves out work during this time.

For now, it appears as if offering temporary contracts will continue to be important to many businesses whilst they continue their recovery. It will ensure that they can continue to operate, cope with changes in demand and buyer behaviour and deal with any skills gaps they might have.

If as a business you are thinking about bring in temporary resource, especially as we start to regain some semblance of normality, there may be a few things that you need to take into consideration.

Candidate confidence could make certain temporary roles harder to fill

Now whilst on the one hand, temporary work can be a critical reprieve for those out of work, in order to ensure that they continue to bring in some income, candidate confidence across the board is low.

However, as the market continues to recover, and the pool of available candidates begins to reduce once again, there may not be as much temporary talent to tap into, particular for specific and more in demand roles and skill sets. Employers also need to remember that the current unemployment rate is high amongst workers such as hospitality and retail. However other skills such as IT and Finance remain in high demand and as such the number of immediately available candidates are lower. Those candidates who are immediately available are also being offered permanent work in a lot of cases here in Yorkshire.

The use of temporary resource should be a considered decision. If it is simply to plug a gap whilst you deliver longer term recruitment drives or to fill an absence, then temporary recruitment might well be the best solution.

If you are looking to offer fixed term contracts as you are not sure about committing to long term prospects, you may find it harder to attract the best talent on the market, as candidates become more risk averse and begin to seek more secure jobs. This is something which will be key to bear in mind. And if you do have to offer fixed term or temp to perm jobs, it will be important for you to be able to articulate why (trying to focus on the fact that the business itself is secure) and what future prospects that candidate might have if they decide to take the role.

How to bring in temporary staff whilst making sure your business remains Covid secure

By now your business has undoubtedly spent an inordinate amount of time and money making the workplace Covid secure; risk assessing, training your staff on what is expected of them and trying to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone that works for you. Obviously if you are bringing in temporary workers, they won’t have had this training, nor will they know what is expected of them when working in this new environment. Therefore, they will require additional training to allow them to familiarise themselves with your Covid processes and procedures and ensure that they are fully up to speed with what you expect and require of them.

Bringing in temporary staff after making redundancies

If you have made redundancies recently, then bringing in staff to cover any roles or responsibilities of those that were made redundant can be a risky move and could land you in hot water if you don’t follow the proper processes. However, given the changing economic situation as a result of the pandemic, it might be acceptable to do this, no matter how long it has been since the last role was terminated.

Guidelines state that ‘once employment has been terminated by reason of redundancy, if the economic situation suddenly changes and the employer needs to employ someone, then they may do so. The employer is under no obligation to offer the redundant employee their job back; it is entitled to recruit someone else instead’.

It is important that you are careful not to be insensitive or discriminatory towards members of staff who are being made redundant. This cannot simply be a loophole that you can use to get rid of any employees who are under-performing. However, if work suddenly and unexpectedly picks back up, or you win a new contract etc. then it is acceptable for you to bring in additional resource to deal with that unexpected surge in demand. Make sure that you follow all of the proper redundancies processes and do your due diligence in case any grievances or appeals are brought against you.

Employing temporary workers can be a great way to exploit new opportunities

It is safe to say that Coronavirus has had a massive impact on the way businesses operate, the way their customers behave and overall demand for their goods and services. Many businesses have had to diversify their offerings, re-evaluate their business strategies and generally just come up with new ways to do things.

One of the benefits of using temporary resource, is that it can provide you with a great opportunity to fill skills gaps, explore untapped talent, expand department capabilities or create new teams to fit in with your company’s future ambitions. It is a great way to bring in new employees with unique capabilities and diversify your existing teams and can offer you a great way to future proof your business.

Should you require any further advice or would like to discuss any temporary or permanent needs within your business, please don’t hesitate to contact Andy on 07966 580 691 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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