A new study from PageGroup reveals that a growing number of temporary professionals have years of experience behind them and are more skilled and better-educated than ever before, with three-quarters (75 per cent) having at least a bachelor’s degree.

PageGroup’s latest Global Temporary and Interim Management study surveyed 1,954 company managers that hire temporary professionals and 4,092 contracting professionals holding temporary positions. Respondents were spread over 65 countries.

A key finding is the profound change that has taken place in temporary employment, which had traditionally been reserved for school-leavers and assistants at very junior levels. Today, contracting professionals are expected to work far more independently: 72 per cent of them said that their temporary job required autonomous working, and 61 per cent of all the candidates interviewed reported that their tasks are becoming ever more complex.

The research reveals that the typical Umbrella Company Employee/temporary professional is both more specialised and more senior than ever before: over two-thirds (70 per cent) have ten or more years of experience behind them.

Especially in the developed economies, the nature of demand for temporary professionals is also shifting. Traditionally, temporary roles went to general workers. Today, they tend to be occupied by exceptionally skilled specialists. These specialised temps are now being recruited across all business areas, from sales and finance/accounting to engineering and IT.

The findings paint a picture of the increasing professionalisation of temporary contract work over the last few years. Employers today increasingly consider temporary and permanent professionals as equals when it comes to fulfilling their requirements. As temporary professionals now need to adapt to intricate new roles, well over half of employers (58 per cent) are investing in on-boarding training for all temporary appointees.

Commenting on the study, the managing director of Michael Page Property & Construction, Andrew James, said that the findings show that temporary employment and interim management is both more diverse and more extensive than in the past. The study provided good insight into the shifting landscape of temporary work, he said, encompassing the perspectives of both clients and candidates.

He went on: “There’s nothing more valuable than to really understand the changing employee profile and to this end, this research has provided us with valuable insight to better advise, support and expectation manage our candidates and clients alike.

“The way the temporary employment market is evolving demonstrates that employees need to be engaged differently, their profiles are changing, employers now have higher expectations and the assignments are becoming more complex, diverse and challenging. It’s certainly an exciting time to be a temporary employee or interim manager.”

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