It’s easy to get confused by the complex nature of the Vancouver economy and more specifically, the temporary staffing market. With the economy on the up, what does this mean for temporary staffing in Vancouver?
Miles co-founder and Chief Operating Officer David O’Donnell gives his insights on Vancouver’s temporary staffing market, what an improving economy means, and how it has changed in the past 3 years. Having been involved in the industry for over 15 years in Vancouver, David is an expert in temporary and permanent staffing in the city:
By its nature, temporary staffing has distinct limitations. The pool of available staff fluctuates with seasonal and economic influences. The most noticeable impact in the past two years is the positive job market. With the unemployment rate continuing to decline, the availability of potential employees for temporary assignments also declines as talented personnel are engaged in longer contract or permanent work opportunities.
High costs of living in Vancouver has had an impact as well with less willingness for employees to lock into longer term contracts that offer low wages. As well, downtown positions are increasingly harder to fill for temporary work as travel costs are included in the decision making for the employees. Less employees available for temporary work are located or renting close to downtown locations and prefer to work closer to their home location.
Noticeable as well is the increased use of temporary employees in companies with larger employee bases as retiring personnel creates short term needs while permanent hiring is pursued. As a consequence, high skilled workers are being engaged for longer ongoing contracts and no longer available for temporary staffing. This impacts and lessens the ability to provide exact skill sets for certain roles. Flexibility is required by the hiring company including providing training.
Temporary employment is often viewed as a gateway to permanent hiring. Longer term temporary positions that do not align with the employee’s career plan are often declined. Companies who utilize temporary staffing on a frequent basis are more in tune with these issues and usually adapt to necessary changes including increasing the ability for the temporary employee to be paid higher in order to commit longer term. The market has shifted more to the employee pay rate as a focus versus the billing or invoice rate.
Further, as the job market continues to improve, we are seeing an increase in higher level temporary position opportunities such as mid- management, engineering, HR, accounting and specialist roles.
What are some solutions?
Solutions include higher hourly wages, longer-term temporary assignments and employer flexibility in training and overall workplace experience. Employers that modernize their hiring practices, build an engaging and competitive talent brand, broaden their scope on job description requirements and experience and value transferable skill sets will have higher candidate success. Additionally, employers that shorten time to hire, without compromising on the integrity of the hiring process, will have higher success rates with employing top talent.
Employers that provide long term temporary/contract positions to mid-level/mid-career candidates will find an exceptional hiring funnel into leadership roles.