Contingent Worker Trends in 2017

22nd Jun, 2020 | Trends, Data & Insights

2017 has been the year of the contingent worker. It has seen a surge in the size of Australia and New Zealand’s casual workforce and this increase doesn’t show signs of stopping. With around 34% of the labour pool already working flexibly, and temporary staffing platform, Sidekicker, reporting 143% year-on-year growth in applicants for temporary employment, the trend towards contingent work will likely continue well into 2018.

While people look for more control over when and where they work, and as technology makes doing so easier and more accessible, more and more people are opting to engage in casual work either alongside or instead of permanent employment.

Activity on SEEK echoes this trend, with the career site reporting a 6% YOY growth in views of job ads that focused on short-term or contingent labour.  

As the contingent labour pool expands, Businesses are increasingly recognising and capitalising on the value of flexible workers. According to SEEK, there has been a 15% lift in the number of ads requesting temporary workers. Meanwhile, Sidekicker have seen 140% growth in requests for short-term or immediate help.


The Year In Contingent Staffing

  -143% growth in casual applicants (Sidekicker)

  -74% growth in first-time casual workers

  -6% growth in views of temp-worker job advertisements (SEEK)

  -15% growth in requests for temp workers on traditional job boards 

  -140% growth in requests for temp workers via temporary staffing platforms (Sidekicker)

  -25% growth in businesses requesting casual staff


Industry Uptake Of Temporary Workers

The hospitality industry is seeing the most benefit from people wanting flexible work. 2017 saw a 34% rise in SEEK ads placed for temp and casual hospitality roles (12 months to Nov 2017), while there was a 370% increase in hospitality staffing requests placed through Sidekicker.

The Business Administration sector is also tapping into the trend – seeing job seekers view temp job ads 11% more*. This past year there was an 8% lift in SEEK ads posted for contingent staff and a 133% rise in temporary staffing requests for administrative or office support roles on Sidekicker.  

Coming a little later to the party are the Retail and Warehousing categories. While each has used casual labour regularly for some time, they have only just begun to benefit from truly short-term or casual staff. Even so, each sector saw a rise in SEEK ads requiring temporary help (4% and 7% respectively) and tested the waters of temporary staffing platforms, launching efforts on Sidekicker in 2017 with hundreds of staff requests.

As more and more people reap the lifestyle and financial benefits of being able to pick up work when and where they want, the more opportunities are created for businesses to optimise their staffing strategies by using contingent staff. 

– SEEK website data Nov16-Nov17
–  Sidekicker product data 10 Dec16- 10 Dec17