Nov 01, 2013

World Watch

As a continuation of our article from the October 2013 edition of TrendLine, we explore the trends in temporary worker supply and demand in global markets


Recruitment firm Hays in Japan reports that the recruitment market is active in the country.  And recently, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has vowed to boost employment and raise wages in order to boost consumption and investment.

Robert Walters, the global recruitment consultancy, in October expanded service to businesses in Osaka and Sansai regions to offer temporary, temp-to-perm and fixed-term contract recruitment in addition to permanent recruiting services. The manager of the new team, Teruhiko Hayakawa, says, “by offering contract recruitment services in Kansai, we are able to assist firms with adding resources for seasonal workloads, maternity leave or other long-term absences.”


The employment of a flexible staff is a growing model in India. The Times of India reports that companies across traditional sectors such as retail, telecom, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture are increasingly adopting a flexi-staffing model. The workforce in the flexi-staffing industry is currently 3 percent of total employment, and a recent study predicts that this will grow to 25 percent by 2025.

“Generally speaking, flexi-staffing is necessary considering current circumstances. It takes care of sudden and temporary jump in workload, which is the sole purpose of doing it. During the economic downturn, it helps a lot, too. Things get better with their contribution to their contracted company.” ~Bibek Paranjpe, HR Head of Reliance industries.


Employers in Malaysia are choosing to hire contract workers as opposed to permanent employees. Due to a slow market, companies are more selective and wiling to hire temporary staff while waiting for the right candidate.


With the holiday season approaching, there is an increased demand for workers at supermarkets, restaurants and shops. Ulysses Piva, the President of the Union of Employers of Retail Pato Branco, believes that temporary work is a great opportunity for those outside the labor market and for young workers seeking their first job.

South Africa

According to the latest Adcorp Employment Index, the South African economy shed 74,523 jobs in September. The majority was in the permanent job sector. Temporary jobs declined also by 3,424 and agency work only shed 319 jobs over the same period.


The government has faced criticism for employing an increasing number of agency temporary workers in various departments. The number of temp workers increased from 70,000 in 2002 to 570,000 in 2012. Lai Shyh-bao, Chinese National Party Legislator, says that the growth of the employee-leasing industry was a major cause of wage stagnation. 


The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports show that the number of unemployed workers who have registered with a recruitment firm has grown by 80 percent over the last five years. However, looking for work with a recruitment agency is still the least popular means of job hunting in the country, with only 24% of unemployed jobseekers using this channel.

“Overall, the activity level for both jobs and the number of candidates is good. We anticipate the recruitment market will continue to remain active until the end of the calendar year and beyond. If budgets are depleted before the end of the year but departments still need support, we will see a rise in temporary and contract hires” ~Jonathan Sampson, Regional Director of Hays.