Increased demand for short-term staff gives UK employers hope for the future

Even though Brexit remains unresolved and there’s continuing pessimism about the UK’s economic outlook, new data produced by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) shows that the demand for hiring temporary agency workers has dramatically increased.

The REC report, published last month, shows that – despite employers’ confidence in the UK economy dropping by another 3 percentage points (57 percentage points lower than in June 2016) – the balance of sentiment for hiring short-term agency workers rose by 10 percentage points rolling quarter-on-quarter, with everything indicating that this welcome trend will continue to grow.  It’s also worth noting that the balance of sentiment was much more positive among private hirers of temporary agency workers than in the public sector, although 34% of employers of temporary workers expressed concern that this growing demand for short term staff might have an impact on sufficient availability.

As far as the hospitality industry is concerned, the forecast demand for short-term workers has risen by 8 percentage points.

All in all, this is fantastic news. On one hand it demonstrates how, despite the national economic uncertainty, employers are still confidently making hiring and investment decisions in their own businesses. On the other hand, it also underlines how invaluable temporary agency workers are to the smooth running of those businesses and that more and more employers are appreciating the many benefits short-term workers bring.

‘The more positive figures for temporary workers suggest that many businesses are turning to agency work to help them navigate the unpredictability they currently face,’ said Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, ‘This might be driven by waiting to see whether permanent  hiring is justified, or by using additional labour to meet demand rather than making big capital investments. The delay to Brexit has given firms breathing space. In the long run, however, employment will be best supported by the stability a clear Brexit outcome will bring. It’s time to get on with delivering this.’

James Stewart, Vice Chair at KPMG, also commented on the REC survey results, adding, ‘This report shows how the UK jobs market has seized up, with both employers and candidates waiting to see which direction Brexit is going to go in. Overall, employers have hired fewer permanent staff in three of the past four months and most of the firms we’re speaking to say that uncertainty around Brexit is to blame.

‘Concern over the long-term picture means now is a good time to be a temp.’

Of course, where the hospitality industry is concerned, the importance of hiring skilled and dedicated temporary workers has never been in question. In many ways, temporary staff are the backbone of our industry, and finding the most ideal short-term team members is vital if you want to keep your business ahead of the competition.

At Prime Agency Recruitment, we have an excellent selection of temporary candidates ready to interview for any hospitality role you need to fill. We can also find the right permanent staff to ensure your operation runs smoothly and efficiently in the long-term. If you’d like to discuss your requirements, talk through your options, or find out more about how we can help you build the perfect team for your hospitality business, please contact our expert and extremely friendly advisors on 020 7580 4398 or email