The digital disruption currently transforming the temporary recruitment sector couldn’t have come at a better time for UK business, which is staring at a potentially damaging staff shortage at a time when economic confidence is at its lowest since March.

The Recruitment & Employment Confederations latest JobsOutlook report reveals the balance of employers expecting a positive business outlook as opposed to a negative one was a net –5 for September, down 4 points on the previous month. In contrast, employers’ confidence in making hiring decisions is +15.

This reveals employers’ need to hire people, either as replacements or new additions, to drive their businesses forward in tough times. Yet the report also finds that half of employers are worried that there are not enough suitable candidates to fill permanent roles. Expected shortages in the fields of engineering, health and social care, and construction are causing the most pressing concern.

Finding the right skills

Hiring temporary staff is also proving problematic, with 60% of employers who are planning to hire temps struggling to find people with the right skills.

This worrying scenario underlines just how important temporary staff are for UK business. Those companies finding it difficult to track down the right permanent staff are likely to need to turn to temporary employees in the short term to ensure their businesses don’t suffer. This is supported by the fact that the number of employers planning to hire agency staff in the short term rose by 23% compared to this time last year.

Traditionally, agencies have been the main source of temporary staff because hirers have found it difficult to connect directly with temps. This relationship comes with a significant price tag, while many employers feel the need to register with several agencies, then try to monitor them all, which takes time and effort. The current shortage of temps means employers will feel even more obliged to do this in order to cast the net as wide as possible.

Digital disruption

This is where the temporary recruitment sector’s new digital disruptors could prove invaluable. Providing a free one-stop-shop for hirers and temp contractors looking for work, first there is a real incentive for both parties to sign up. Second, they allow hirers to search quickly and easily for the right candidates not just in the UK, but globally. Third, there is no charge to hirers when they find and appoint someone. Finally, appointments can be made in seconds, with the service available 24/7.

Some platforms also present hirers with a selection of agencies, should they want to take this route, which they can check and negotiate with for the best rates. This of course also benefits the agencies themselves.

The real benefit here, though, is that these platforms should help to make it easier for companies to not only find temporary staff more easily, but also fill the gaps caused by a shortage in permanent candidates too, helping them maintain and boost the productivity and innovation needed to negotiate these tricky economic times successfully.

By Andrew Johnston, Founder of temporary staff recruitment platform TempRocket

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash