Short-term assignments attract the senior end of town

More than one in five organisations (22%) have employed temporary or contract staff at the senior level over the past year, with another 6% utilising executive or c-suite candidates for short-term needs, according to recruiting experts Hays.

Of the more than 3,400 organisations surveyed as part of the annual Hays Salary Guide, 58% also utilise temporary and contract staff at the entry-level and 59% do so at the mid-level.

“Temporary candidates at the senior and executive levels are typically called upon to run a project, manage transformations or provide non-core skills that are only required for a short period of time,” says Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand.

“The lengthy nature of senior and executive recruitment processes also leads many employers to call in a candidate who can ensure business as usual until a new permanent employee can commence,” he said.

Data from the recruiter shows that 48% of employers look for temporary candidates who can bring problem solving skills to a team. This is followed by communication skills (43%), technology and digital and trade-specific skills (both 40%), critical thinking skills (33%), project management skills (28%) and stakeholder engagement skills (21%).

“Short-term assignments call for highly-skilled professionals who can add value from day one with little or no training and deliver specific goals over a short period of time,” said Nick.

“Such jobs are not for everyone, but the constant variety, exposure to new systems and flexibility to select which assignments they’ll accept do attract many. Temporary candidates also receive higher hourly rates compared to their permanent colleagues, which is another factor attracting people to this style of working.”

“At the executive level, people looking to advance their career find that the exposure and real-life experience gained in temporary assignments helps them transition up into their first c-suite role. Those executives who are looking to transition down into retirement value the opportunity to work on a few select assignments each year.”