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Oxford’s buoyant Temporary workforce set for celebration

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

Oxfordshire’s Temporary workforce is set to become the centre of attention over the next few days with the launch of Allen Associates’ annual Temporary Workers’ Week, which runs from 16th-20th October.

Now in its third year, Temporary Workers’ Week is a week-long campaign aimed at raising greater awareness of the significant contribution made by Oxfordshire’s Temporary workforce to the regional economy.

According to a recent survey of Employers conducted by Allen Associates, one of the Oxfordshire’s largest independent Recruitment Agencies, more than 8 out of 10 (84%) businesses in Oxfordshire employ Temporary Workers. 39% hire between 1-5 Temporary Workers every year, while 15% of local Employers take on between 15-20 over the same period. 1 in 10 hire 100 or more Temporary Workers each year.

These findings reflect the results of a nationwide survey published by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation last month. It found that 1 in 5 Employers plan to hire more Temporary Workers for their businesses between now and the end of the year. However, it also reported that more than a third (36%) of e Employers say their ability to find the Temporary Worker support they need for their organisations is a significant challenge.

Kate Allen, Managing Director at Allen Associates, said: “The important role played by Oxfordshire’s buoyant Temporary workforce cannot be underestimated. Yet it is rarely appreciated or understood as much as it should, which is why we felt the need to highlight the great work they do.

“There is the perception that Employers only hire Temporary Workers to plug gaps in their workforce, but that is only one aspect of what they do. They are often brought in to support the growth of a business, help to control costs and as part of a wider change management strategy.”

Charlotte Thatcher, Head of HR and Recruitment at Oxford-based Oodle Finance, agrees. The company, which recently secured £60 million in investment to become one of the fastest growing businesses in the region, has Temporary Workers at the heart of their business. She said: “Finding quality people is always a challenge, especially given our location and the lack of locally available skills that are relevant to our sector.

“We hire Temporary Workers to manage spikes in the business and to fill areas that become pressured due to an increase in volume.”

As demand for Temporary Workers continues to increase year on year, Temping itself is fast-becoming a career of choice for many workers across Oxfordshire. As Kate Allen explains, there is more to life as a Temporary Worker than many people realise:

“Job seekers today are looking for more than just a job.

“While earning potential is and will always be important, a number of other factors are increasingly being taken into account – flexibility to work around existing commitments, the opportunity to ‘try out’ different roles and working environments to see where they are best suited, and the chance to learn invaluable skills and experiences that can support their future career prospect, are but a few.”

This has certainly been the experience of Kirsty Jackson, who was recently recognised as the STAR Temporary Worker of the Year, following her nomination from University of Oxford.

She says that being a Temporary Worker provides her with the opportunity to work in “an inspiring place, where I can interact with professors, students and wonderful professionals who are passionate about their work.” It is, she said, “such a privilege.”

Each year, Allen Associates’ specialist Temporary Division recognises its STAR of the Year – the Temporary Worker who has consistently gone above and beyond what is expected of them over the last 12 months.

“The Temporary workforce forms the backbone of the Oxfordshire economy,” says Kate Allen.

“More than ever, businesses are dependent on the skills and experiences that Temporary Workers can bring to the table and the enormous value they add. From improving organisational culture and enhancing the relationships businesses have with their customers, to ultimately the positive impact they have on the bottom line, Temporary Workers play a significant role in the local economy and it is only right that they are given the recognition they deserve.”

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