What Are The Pros And Cons Of Hiring Temporary Labour In Canada?

by Usama Chaudry on December 21, 2020

According to statistics, the number of temporary labour in Canada has jumped by 50% in the last 20 years, increasing faster than permanent jobs.

Due to the vital role temporary labour plays in supporting industries critical to the Canadian economy, the Government of Canada has taken measures to improve flexibility in the sector as of March 2020.

StatCan indicated that temporary workers earned less than their permanent counterparts, making $21.80/hr in 2018, compared with $27.71/hr. However, the senior economist at RBC Economics Research, Josh Nye, says that the gap between these two groups has been shrinking in the past two decades. He wrote in an email to CBC News:

“Temporary employees made 75 cents for every dollar permanent employees made per hour in 1998, but that rose to 79 cents in 2018.”

The new median wage requirements went into effect on May 11, 2020.

Temporary Worker – What is it?

Before we get into the pros of hiring temporary labour in Canada, two commonly confused terms are ‘temporary’ and ‘contract’.

Temporary labour is employed in businesses through a recruitment agency for short-term and specific assignments (days or several months). When hiring temporary staff, the recruitment agency manages the entire process to place the right person for the right job. Their goal is to make the process as easy and straightforward for you as possible.

However, contract labourers are people directly employed by organizations/businesses for an agreed period.

Benefits of hiring temporary workers 

Reduce Your Risks

Balancing between looking for a “great” worker and needing someone “NOW” can be a big headache. However, with the right recruitment agency, those concerns can quickly disappear. With a pool of skilled workers that are pre-screened, you will be able to shortlist and select the most suitable candidates promptly.

Flexibility and support during busy periods

If you have seasonal activity uplifts or a contract that demands an increase in the project duration, the flexibility in hiring temporary labour can be highly beneficial for your business.

Instead of hiring permanent staff who may not be needed throughout the rest of the year, temporary labour will take the pressure off your existing one. You can have additional work capacity with better cost management and long-term resource planning.

Evaluate without commitment

Hiring a temporary worker allows you to evaluate their skills without the commitment of hiring them full time. If you see they have added value to your company and are the chops to stick around, you can permanently bring them in. Similarly, if they aren’t what you were looking for, you will not have to worry about firing them and dealing with insurance claims after the contract ends.

Cover absence

Hiring temporary labour to cover short-term or long-term absences ensure optimal efficiency without hiring another full-time worker.

Offer new skills and expertise.

If you are looking for a particular skill or expertise for a specific contract you are working on, temporary hiring can be the best solution. You will have experienced temporary staff without the cost and time commitment of training exiting workers.

What are the drawbacks?

Training becomes a routine activity

A temporary workforce means a long period of training, which requires time and money.

Every time you hire new people, you will be changing your work team. That has a lot to do with the relationship between them and your understanding of their individual and team skills.

Behaviour issues

Putting a temporary workforce with permanent ones together for months, doing the same job but not receiving the same benefits can cause morale problems.

Get in touch

Find out more about how we can help you with highly trained temporary labour.

Usama ChaudryUsama has a Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alberta. Computations of electrical and thermal characteristics are among his research interests. Usama's hobbies outside of professional work include reading, playing tennis, and trekking.


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