New research from across the pond carries a message that may benefit UK businesses in their quest to grow in harsh economic times: hire more flexible workers.

ManpowerGroup, the international recruiter specialising in flexible work solutions, attributes a consecutive growth in US employment over the last three months to the canny use of temporary workers.

ManpowerGroup’s chairman and CEO, Jeffrey Joerres, explained: “Hiring talent on a temporary basis enables companies to assess and align the increasingly broad range of modern skills – and even discover new ones – that will give them a competitive edge in their industry. In turn, employed workers jolt broader economic growth, as they boost consumer spending and the housing market, and not only do they develop and implement the critical business strategies but they start new enterprises that create more jobs.”

Progressive companies are beginning to understand that business success can be significantly enhanced by harnessing cutting edge skills on a flexible basis, Mr Joerres added; however, temporary roles also benefit workers, he continued, as they learn a lot about which skills are most in demand and get an opportunity to practise and refine them while earning an income in the process.

Mr Joerres clearly has a point. ManpowerGroup’s Talent Shortage Survey for 2012 reveals that nearly half (49%) of US employers have struggled to find personnel to fill mission-critical roles. Year after year, the top ten most difficult jobs to fill include IT, engineering and skilled trades, which is a difficulty that many UK employers will be familiar with.

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