In a time of uncertain economic conditions, falling confidence and talent shortages, utilising temporary workers is a key strategy for many organisations and as such the benefits of temporary workers can't be underestimated. After all, a recent report by Deloitte indicates an estimated 1.6 million workers in Britain (6% of the total workforce) are infact temporary workers.

Below we set out 7 key situations in which  the use of Temporary workers should be considered and they come out high in the rationale of many organisations as highlighted in recent Job outlook articles by the REC team. In a recent post we covered many of the characteristics which temps possess and make them such a vital part of the UK economy growing by 40% over the last 10 years.

Can Help You Meet Peeks in Demand

Organisations unsure who are unsure whether a current spike in activity levels will be sustained over a prolonged period, may choose to dip into Temporary labour pools to meet demand levels. Hiring and firing of permanent staff can be both time-consuming and extremely detrimental to morale of the workforce so being able to bring on more workers or scale back the workforce to respond to the ebbs and flows of demand is highly desirable to many business owners.

Can Allow You to Reduce Costs

While the exact logistics of temporary hires differ within organisations, the process is usually far more cost effective than making a permanent hire and can result in quicker returns for the business of the outlay.  

In the short term, the cost of hiring a temporary staff member can often be cheaper that the cost of committing to a permanent employee. However, temporary assignments that are expected to run for more than a couple of months may actually end up costing you more than making a permanent hire. Make sure you do your sums before you make any decisions.

Provide Short Term Access to Key Expertise



Modern day reality is that temporary staff can bring new skills and perspectives to a role that can, in turn, improve efficiency or streamline production. If a new project or product requires skills outside of your team’s current area of expertise, a temporary employee can provide that new talent to quickly keep things moving forward and ensure your targets are met.

We recently had a client who wanted a Project Manager with Prince2 Qualification to run a fixed project for them and another who wanted someone with detailed pivot table knowledge to help a team out with some remodelling work on systems as they had no one within their team who had these skills so this can and does work very well for organisations with clear goals of what they wish to achieve.

Covering Leaves or Absence

If a key member of staff has gone off on long term sick leave or is on a three month sabbatical, the obvious solution where workloads need to be picked up and cannot be absorbed by other team members is to seek temporary cover to ensure work is completed. This is one of the most common reasons organisations use temporary workers.

Responding to Growth



A spike in business levels may not allow you to the time to recruit permanent members of staff if the work is to be completed within timeframes and so the most cost effective solution will be to consider utilising a temporary pool of workers. It may well be that some of these are able to be taken on permanently if growth is maintained and they demonstrate the attributes and capabilities required.

Responding to Fast Changing Organisational Requirements  

In larger organisations, the imminent relocation of teams or departments or the need for urgent projects to be completed, can necessitate the need for a  temporary workforce to be considered for a period of time.

Managing Uncertainty

In times of economic uncertainty in larger organisations, when budgets are pulled or reduced and full-time headcounts are under the microscope, the entrepreneurial hiring managers often look to exploit loop holes in their system and consider utilising temporary workers. This can also be the case in smaller organisations where managers are unwilling to replace departing staff for fear of uncertain future orders and workloads. In these situations , temporary workers can also fill the void and the organisations can regularly reassess.

Can We Help?

Our experienced Temporaries team at Lucy Walker Recruitment have been working the Leeds and West Yorkshire market for over 25 years and placed well over 100000 candidates within temporary assignments. Our temas have an extensive database of experienced, versatile, skilled and flexible temporary workers. If you would like to talk to one of our Consultants, you can contact us here and complete our Temporary Recruitment Checklist to enable us to assess and partner with you going forward.


About the Author: Mark Woffenden

Mark Woffenden is a Director at Lucy Walker Recruitment and has an extensive knowledge of the issues and workings of the West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester Commercial markets developed over the last 20 years in the Industry