Temporary staffing solutions - such as hiring contractors to provide the necessary expertise to complete key projects - are proving increasingly important in industries facing skills shortages, research has indicated.
In its October 2015 JobsOutlook survey, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) found that more than three-quarters (79 per cent) of the employers surveyed hired workers through agencies in order to access important strategic skills.
Almost all (94 per cent) of the respondents said temporary staff were paid more or the same as if they were in a permanent position.
The research highlighted some positive trends in business attitudes towards employment and the economy, with 76 per cent of organisations saying economic conditions are improving.
Nearly half (47 per cent) said confidence in making hiring and investment decisions is on the rise, while two-thirds (67 per cent) had increased either pay or headcount in the past year.
In light of these findings, the REC said businesses are "actively looking to take on more staff".
However, the recruitment industry body also warned of the
ongoing risk of skills gaps.
Employers are anticipating a lack of candidates for permanent managerial positions, driving and distribution jobs and blue-collar jobs, the findings showed. In the temporary labour market, companies are expecting a shortage of workers in the technical/engineering, construction and driving/distribution sectors.
Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC, said many organisations are finding it "extremely difficult" to fill certain vacancies and therefore need to find "creative solutions" to their staffing challenges.
"Pay is on the rise as businesses react to the need to keep hold
of the staff they already have," he continued. "In areas where
permanent roles are particularly hard to fill, employers are
turning to temporary workers in order to access key strategic
"The demand for skilled people is especially acute in construction and engineering as a result of newly announced housebuilding and infrastructure projects."
Numerous industry bodies and associations have warned of the
risk that skills shortages could pose to future growth for UK
businesses and the economy as a whole.
Many sectors and fields of work are looking for ways to overcome this problem, including education. Recruitment solutions provider Eteach this month released a report showing that schools are struggling to find candidates for leadership roles and teachers with a background in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The number of maths teacher vacancies has increased by 23 per cent since last year and science roles have risen by nine per cent.
Elsewhere, staffing and project solutions firm Gibbs S3 has warned that the IT industry is facing a talent crisis. The company said employers should be taking a more innovative, dynamic approach to managing their workforce, looking at options such as bringing in independent professionals or self-employed contractors to make their organisation more agile and efficient.
"Companies should look to adopt more flexible staffing structures which release them to do what they do best - innovate," said Farida Gibbs, chief executive and founder of Gibbs S3.
"A hybrid workforce approach provides companies with the benefits of highly skilled employees but without many of the risks of hiring a full-time employee."
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