Kelly Scientific predicts increasing demand for temporary positions in the scientific sector

30 August 2011

Five tips for employers to prepare for a more temporary workforce

Kelly Scientific Resources, Australia’s leading scientific recruitment firm, is predicting an increasing demand for temporary and contract positions in the scientific sector over the next five years.

A recent survey of organisations that employ scientific professionals showed almost a third (32 per cent) employ 10 per cent or more of their scientific team on a of temporary or contract basis. More importantly, 19 per cent* of those organisations surveyed plan to increase the number of temporary and contract staff during the remainder of 2011.

Paul O’Brien, director, Kelly Scientific Resources Australia, said, "The nature of the workforce is changing. Australia has an ageing population that needs to work longer, and a younger generation that believe in working to live, which means that employees are increasingly demanding temporary and contract positions that meet their current circumstances.

"A large majority of employees no longer want to commit to being at work 38 hours a week on a permanent basis and are looking for flexibility offered by temporary and contract positions. Employers need to be willing to adapt to meet this growing demand.

"The scientific sector is heavily reliant on permanent employees, with only one in ten employees hired on a temporary or contract basis. Kelly Scientific Resources is predicting, based on demographics of the scientific workforce, that in five years time, employers will be less reliant on permanent staff and more reliant on temporary and contract employees.

"We are definitely seeing an increased acceptance of temp and contract style employment opportunities among the candidates we speak to. Especially among those that work in the chemical, food and beverage and pharmaceutical manufacturing areas as these organisations operate on a 24/7 rotating roster and need scientific support at all times.

"The fact the research shows employers across all sectors are now looking to increase temporary employees in the next six to 12 months is an indication of things to come."

Kelly Scientific Resources offers the following tips for employers looking to prepare for a more temporary workforce:

  1. Change your mindset. Employers need to become more open to the idea of hiring temporary and contract staff in the scientific sector. Having temporary/contract employees provides employers with the opportunity to engage certain skills on demand and offers flexibility in terms of resources and budget.
  2. Be proactive. Start planning now for the shift in the market and look at ways to change your business operations and workflow to accommodate temporary staff.
  3. Invest time. Take the time to get to know your temporary staff and show them the ropes. It is important not to dismiss them because they will only be a part of your business for a short period. This will create a temporary employee pool that you can draw on when needed that is trained, aware of the culture of your business and that wants to work for you.
  4. Re-hire. Keep track of temporary employees that have demonstrated their skills and work ethic. Offering future temporary positions to employees that you have had positive experiences with provides reassurance and reduces training time as the employee is already familiar with the way you work. 
  5. Investigate the cost savings. Having temporary employees can equate to savings on the bottom line. Less permanent employees’ means less ongoing costs associated with employee benefits.


"Temporary positions are a vital and necessary part of the workforce giving employers and employees flexibility to fill and take positions as required suiting both parties’ needs," O’Brien said.


About Kelly Scientific Resources 
As a division of Kelly Services, Kelly Scientific Resources has been solely dedicated to and has built considerable expertise in identifying and placing qualified science professionals. All Kelly Scientific consultants have qualifications in science ranging from Diplomas through to PhD level and have experience working within the scientific industry. Kelly Scientific - where scientists recruit scientists.

Media contact:
Michelle Taylor
Recognition PR
02 9252 2266
mct@recognition.com.au 

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