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Talent Shortage Sparks Increase in Use of Contractors

Talent Shortage Sparks Increase in Use of Contractors

AUSTRALIA - Due to an Australian candidate shortage, employers are opting to employ temporary and contract staff as a convenient and cost effective way of filling the gap, according to a survey conducted by Aquent, the leading global staffing firm specialising in marketing, communications and creative talent.

The Aquent Orange Book 2008-2009, a salary survey and industry monitor of key Asia Pacific and European markets, revealed changes in the usage of contractors across Australia and New Zealand.

“We may see an increase in the strategic use of contractors as a long term staffing strategy. Increasingly, companies are temporarily bringing on skilled talent when new projects or excess demand arises,” said Greg Savage, International CEO, Aquent

“Minimising staff costs by reducing flexible staffing levels when projects finish have now become a very attractive option for companies in the evolving workforce environment. And the uncertain economic outlook is likely to accelerate this trend.”

Up to 50% of companies across most sectors and cities surveyed expect their usage of temporary and contract staff to increase in the next 12 months.

The Aquent Orange Book also showed the major reasons companies use temporary staff vary little from city to city with Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth reporting the same top three reasons for hiring freelance/temporary/contract staff.

  • Additional projects
  • Unpredicted workload
  • Specialist skills required

Sectors showing the most support for this shift were seen in creative departments in advertising agencies (46%), creative departments in design agencies (42%) and corporate marketing departments (19%).

“It also opens up access to wider pools of potential recruits, including the 180,000 experienced and qualified women with children in Australian society, as well as over 200,000 mature-age workers who could re-enter the labour force under more flexible work practices,” said Savage.

About Aquent

Aquent is the leading global staffing firm specialising in helping companies find marketing, communications and creative talent. With 73 offices in 18 countries, they have an unmatched network of professionals that enables them to deliver the right solution for any client need and provide exceptional career opportunities for their talent. Today Aquent has over 11,000 professionals working at over 3,000 companies. Over the course of its history, Aquent has made over half a million matches of professionals to our clients on an individual, team or through an onsite or offsite managed service basis. The company’s Asia-Pacific headquarters are in Sydney.

About the Aquent Orange Book

Now in its fourth year, The Aquent Orange Book is an industry reference document on salaries and hiring trends published in two editions – Asia Pacific and Europe. Internationally, the Aquent Orange Book covers the following categories, among others: marketing, market research, creative, design, digital, advertising, MICE, publishing, editorial, media, PR and communications, and is targeted towards senior managers.

The survey provides salary information, detailed statistics on staff turnover, retention strategies, talent sourcing strategies, salary increase percentages and forecasts on permanent and contract hiring trends.

For more information on the Aquent Orange Book, please contact Carolyn Hyams, Asia Pacific Marketing Strategy Manager on +61 2 8288 8288 or


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