Over half of temporary workers now looking for permanent roles in post-pandemic Britain

Over half (55%) of those who were temporary workers before the COVID-19 crisis are now actively looking for a permanent role, according to new research.

The study of 500 office-based temporary workers, conducted by Office Angels, highlights a fundamental change to the UK’s labour landscape going forward as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

However, this does not spell the end of the UK’s temporary job market; a third (33%) of those surveyed do still want to continue doing temporary work post-pandemic.

In fact, providing a path to a permanent role in a new sector or industry (32%) and gaining additional skills and experiences (33%) were key benefits of temporary working highlighted by the study’s participants. A further third (31%) also cited having a better work/life balance as a major benefit of undertaking temporary employment.

Unsurprisingly, Generation Z (60%) and Millennials (64%) are among those temporary workers who are now the keenest to enter the job market on a more permanent basis. However, they face tough competition, with experts predicting that the post-COVID-19 job market will be even more competitive than after the 2008 financial crash.

Interestingly, over half of those aged 45 and above would like to continue being a temporary worker post-pandemic – 51% of 45 to 54-year olds and 57% of those aged 55 and above said this.

The desire to gain permanent employment is also higher among women than men. With nearly two-thirds (61%) of women, compared to only 53% of men, who held temporary roles before the coronavirus pandemic now wanting to secure a permanent position.

Kate Garbett, Head of Office Angels commented on the findings: “There is no easy answer to how candidates and businesses will cope in the new labour market as we move on from the crisis. What is certain though is that companies will need to reposition how they view temporary workers if they are to retain and attract the best of this essential talent. Post COVID-19, greater focus will need to be placed on training and the benefits that companies can offer its temporary workforce.

“Temporary workers that want to secure permanent positions should look to highlight their transferrable skills and breadth of experience to potential new employers. Demonstrating a keenness to self-motivate and learn new skills, while working with a variety of people and teams, will also help temporary workers stand out during an interview.”