Amid the current global uncertainty, law firms need to be flexible when it comes to workforce planning.
According to recruitment consultants from Hays, with world economies at varying stages of crisis and recovery, the utilisation of temporary staff has become more valuable than ever - and not just for junior positions. Now, temporary assignments encompass very senior positions within business.
"During uncertain economic times, temporary assignments have the obvious benefit of allowing workloads to be completed at the same time as maintaining headcount flexibility," says Hays director Grahame Doyle. "This bank of temporary workers can flex with an organisation to mitigate the effects of the unknown."
However, Doyle adds that temporary workers do not only offer benefits during times of uncertainty but are important for a long-term workforce management plan.
"Given emerging skills shortages, it's also about the ability to access specific skills and broaden the pool of talent, rather than restricting your search to only candidates looking for a permanent role," he says. "Interestingly, the growth in temporary employment has been driven by employees themselves. Many people want greater flexibility in their working arrangements and consequently there is a huge temporary candidate pool who are only interested in temporary assignments."
But according to the latest Michael Page Employment Index, the global uncertainty has not impacted hiring decisions for 58 per cent of Australian employers and 23 per cent will be increasing their headcount in the fourth quarter.
"Recruitment levels within the professional labour market are varied but the overall picture is still one of sustained hiring activity," says Michael Page Australia /New Zealand managing director Phillip Guest.
"We are also starting to see companies recruit more broadly across their business to include operational and back-office functions as employers look to establish the right teams to support growth in 2012."