Monday 19 August 2019 5:17 am

Debunking four common myths around temporary workers

Work is the hub around which the spokes of society revolve: we depend on our labour to make a living. 

But one big thing has changed over recent years, as work today is less about the perceived value of the job and more about the level of control and choice that the worker has. 

The human appeal of this shift is evident in the number of employees turning to temporary work. 

In London alone, there are over 300,000 experienced temporary staff. Across the UK, almost five million people have made an active choice to work on a temporary basis in order to better balance work with other commitments such as parenthood, studying, or training.

However, there is still a stigma around temporary workers, and damaging perceptions can leave businesses missing out on a wealth of talent. It’s time to address these myths.

1. They aren’t good enough to get a proper job

First, there’s no singular definition of what a “proper” job is today, and it certainly isn’t restricted to the traditional nine-to-five.  In fact, 70 per cent of millennials are demanding the option to work flexibly. 

Many experienced workers look for jobs that fit around their lifestyles. These people contribute valuable knowledge from experience of working across multiple organisations.  Temporary workers will also often have a strong motivation to show their worth during assignments, making them an asset to any team.

2. Temp work is for students

Another common myth is that the temporary workforce is made up exclusively of students. While it’s true that many people do take on temp jobs during their studies, this is by no means the full picture. 

In fact, the flexible workforce is multi-generational, with over a third of gig workers aged 55 or older. At Coople, we are seeing more retirees taking on temporary jobs to fill their time and boost their income.

3. They are unreliable

This stigma stems from concerns that temporary staff are less experienced, aren’t committed to the business, or just use temporary work to tide them over between permanent jobs.

However, on-demand staffing platforms are changing the way businesses interact with temporary workers. They have thorough interview processes for applicants, and will only nominate the best-suited staff for the role. Some platforms even enable employers to review and rate staff. 

Staffing platforms have created an accessible, talent pool, full of reliable and quality staff.

4. Temp work is the last option

This is one of the most damaging misconceptions. Temporary work is often seen as a transitional phase for people, but it can also be a long-term solution. 

With Britain’s unemployment rate at an all-time low and many businesses complaining of shallow talent pools, organisations which look past the myths around temporary workers will find a skilled and committed on-demand workforce. 

Developing a fully flexible staffing model has the potential to help companies scale, outperform, and outcompete in the new world of work.