Temporary work a bridge to permanent job, say Australian bosses

92% of Australian managers would hire an employee for a permanent position who have been working in continuous temporary roles. Read more!

  • 92% of Australian hiring managers would hire an employee for a permanent position who have been working in continuous temporary/contract roles.
  • 88% would extend a permanent contract to a skilled employee who was initially hired on a temporary basis.
  • 78% think contract workers enjoy flexibility while still maintaining a healthy degree of job security.
  • 76% say having a mix of both temporary and permanent employees is crucial to the success of their department/company.

Contrary to popular commentary about contract and temporary work, new independent research commissioned by specialised recruiter Robert Half reveals the majority of Australian employers are actively extending permanent contracts to those in temporary/contract roles and positively evaluating the impact temporary staff bring to their organisation.

Stepping stone: From temporary to permanent employee

According to the survey of 460 Australian hiring managers, more than nine in 10 (92%) say they would hire an employee for a permanent position who has been performing continuous temporary/contract work. Furthermore, more than eight in 10 (88%) would extend a permanent contract to a skilled employee who was initially hired on a temporary basis – highlighting the potential opportunities for contract work to result in a permanent placement within an organisation.

Andrew Morris, Director of Robert Half Australia said: “We see many employers are receptive towards hiring temporary staff as they realise the benefits offered by having a mix of both contract and permanent staff. This positive turnaround is also having a direct impact on the career paths of temporary professionals as top performers are in turn being offered permanent positions by their employer if and when there’s an available opportunity.”

What are the benefits of contract work?

Other than career flexibility and exposure to different industries, the benefits of contract/temporary work for employees have become more apparent, as according to almost eight in 10 (78%) employers, contract workers enjoy flexibility while still maintaining a healthy degree of job security, removing the stigma that some professionals have about the perceived instability of this type of work. Avoiding prolonged recruitment processes is also a bonus, as three-quarters (75%) of hiring managers agree filling temporary positions quickly is of the essence when hiring contract workers.

“The benefits of temporary work are gaining in popularity as we’re seeing more and more professionals opting for this type of work – allowing them to experience diverse careers, accumulate a rich skillset and exposure to multiple industries and workplaces,” Andrew Morris added.

Australian employers are also fast realising the rewards of flexible staffing arrangements, as three-quarters (76%) say having a mix of both temporary and permanent employees is crucial to the success of their department/company. Looking forward, the changing dynamic in the Australian workplace is set to continue as more than seven in 10 (71%) feel contract workers are a key component of their department’s long-term staffing strategy.

“The benefits of a flexible staffing approach are being felt by employers, particularly in a candidate-short market, as it allows them access to a much larger pool of skilled talent. By adopting a mix of both permanent and contract workers, Australian companies can become more competitive as they’re able to fill essential skills gaps quickly, whilst maintaining business continuity and starting new projects, without the additional cost burden of expanding headcount,” concluded Andrew Morris.

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About the research

The annual study is developed by Robert Half and was conducted in December 2017 by an independent research firm, surveying 460 hiring managers from companies across Australia. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.

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Gabrielle Nagy 
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