Temps and contractors will be casualties of downturn

Temporary staff and contractors need to review their working styles or risk falling behind as employers re-evaluate their staffing levels, a survey suggests.

The Global Contingent Worker poll, conducted by research company Loudhouse, found that half of respondents expected the number of temporary positions available to shrink in 2009 and two in five expected competition for jobs to increase.

Matthew Rodger, director at recruitment process outsourcing firm Alexander Mann Solutions, said times were changing and contractors had to change too.

“Contractors have enjoyed a favourable few years where they have been able to command a premium for their services,” he said. “Today, companies are managing their contingent workforce more tightly, for shorter spells, often on a reduced cost of ownership.”

“Many are realising this and changing the way they operate by recognising the importance of good brands and changing the way they assess contracts,” he said.

The survey found just 11% of contingent workers saw their contracts extended over the next 12 months, and just 12% expected a rise in pay. Results are based on 140 online interviews with professional skilled or senior level contractors.

Meanwhile, Argos has launched its Christmas recruitment drive with the aim of hiring 15,000 temporary staff for what is traditionallyt its peak period.

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