By Tania Govender, Sales Director at Worldwide Staffing
Many job seekers still tend to have the mindset that permanent employment equates to job security, perhaps because the term “permanent” implies something that is lasting or intended to last. This creates the impression that permanent employment will last or remain unchanged for the foreseeable future.
However, while the mindset that permanent employment offers more job security than temporary employment still prevails, external market forces are proving that this is not necessarily the case, as workforce dynamics have shifted significantly for both employees and employers.
One of the biggest drives of this change has been COVID-19, which resulted in the loss of millions of jobs across the globe since its outbreak in 2020. In addition, many of the economic challenges and conditions that existed before the pandemic were amplified by the crisis, resulting in many businesses being forced to either downsize or close entirely. This affected many permanent positions that were suddenly made redundant.
As a result, a new way of thinking has emerged for both employees and employers. From the employee’s perspective, the sudden job losses highlighted the fact that permanent positions do not necessarily guarantee job security.
Fixed overhead costs
From the employer’s perspective, it underscored that while many companies with permanent staff complements had to cease operations due to lockdown restrictions, they still needed to carry the fixed overhead cost of salaries, which typically makes up a huge portion of total overheads. Thus, with little or no income flowing into their business and with no flexibility in their staff overhead cost, many businesses were forced to make tough decisions that resulted in job losses.
With external market forces playing a vital role in business stability, the need for a flexible workforce – that can increase and decrease in line with business demands – has never been greater. This is where Temporary Employment Service (TES) providers can deliver significant value.
When the time came for companies that engaged TES providers to either reduce hours or stop operations due to the lockdown, TES providers were able to remove temporary employees from their clients’ sites for a required period. Once those businesses were ready to reopen, temporary employees could simply be reinstated to those sites.
For the temporary employee, being removed from a site did not necessarily mean that they were left without a job. A TES provider typically has access to many different sites nationally, making it easier to find work for these workers and thus provide them with some income continuity.
In essence, temporary employment offers flexible staffing solutions at a variable cost as opposed to a fixed salary overhead expenditure, which can provide businesses with much needed financial relief, especially in the current tough economic environment.
Freeing up resources
Additionally, a temporary employment model enables a TES provider to take away non-core functions from a business’s internal resources, allowing them to focus purely on their core functions. The benefit of this alone frees up business resources to concentrate on more important issues, such as growth stability and future work planning.
Furthermore, TES providers are able to fulfil the growing need for flexible business models with their ability to quickly and efficiently manage the scaling up or down of the staff complement, based on changing business needs. By having a database of candidates that have already been interviewed, screened and vetted, a TES provider can quickly source the right candidate for the right position.
However, it is critical that businesses partner with a reputable and experienced TES provider. Not doing so can have significant consequences, including negative financial impacts. Sourcing the right candidate is important, which is why TES providers have stringent recruitment measures in place.
A reputable TES provider will recognise the value of forging a strong partnership with its clients. Once a flexible workforce model is established, the TES provider will continue to manage the client’s staffing needs, manage workforce flexibility, find the right skills and calibre and manage any labour-related risks going forward.
COVID-19 has been the ultimate challenge for most businesses and has driven many to seek more flexible staffing solutions. By converting employee costs from a fixed expenditure to a variable cost, temporary employment staffing solutions give businesses the flexibility to successfully navigate their way through today’s challenges.