Research from online staffing platform for temporary work, Indeed Flex, the has revealed more than half of UK businesses (55 per cent) are finding recruitment more challenging in 2023 than they did last year.

Workforce shortages continue to plague many UK businesses, with a quarter of employers (24 per cent) saying they are struggling to find new staff. Meanwhile one in five (20 per cent) are finding it difficult to retain permanent staff and the same proportion say the most challenging recruitment issue is the time it takes to fill vacant positions.

The staffing challenges come despite official figures showing a loosening of the labour market. ONS data shows that between June and August there were more than a quarter of million (268,000) fewer vacancies across the UK compared to the same period last year. Total vacancies fell for the 14th time in a row, slipping below one million for the first time in more than two years.

Nevertheless, Indeed Flex’s research found that a third (33 per cent) of UK businesses are currently using temporary workers to solve staff shortages and nearly half (47 per cent) are more reliant on temps compared to a year ago. Two fifths of employers (40 per cent) say using temporary workers allows them to source staff at short notice. Meanwhile, nearly a fifth (32 per cent) say it’s quicker and easier to find temporary staff than permanent employees.

Novo Constare, CEO and Co-founder of Indeed Flex, said: “A significant number of UK businesses continue to grapple with staffing shortages, and many are finding 2023 even more challenging than 2022.

“But the picture varies enormously between sectors. Some industries which saw chronic staff shortages last year, such as hospitality and logistics, are now finding recruitment much easier as customer demand softens and candidates are more abundant.

“Both here and in the sectors where finding enough people to fill shifts is still challenging, we’re nevertheless seeing a steady shift in employers’ attitudes to temporary workers – and the invaluable lifeline they provide,” Constare adds. “Temporary staff don’t just provide an instant solution to staffing shortages; many opt to work regularly and consistently for the same employer, meaning they can be an important and flexible part of a company’s ongoing hiring strategy.”


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