28.3.2011

Press release: Job satisfaction of temporary agency workers at a high level

The Temporary Agency Worker Study 2011, commissioned by the personnel services company VMP Group, indicates that:

  • According to most gauges, temporary agency workers are more satisfied with their work than the control group.
  • The majority of temporary workers feel that their situation would be more difficult, if they were not able to do temporary work.
  • The majority of interviewees are interested in part-time work for family reasons and at an age close to retirement.
  • The majority of temporary workers would have a positive or neutral attitude if their closest colleague were an immigrant or a foreigner.

On commission of the VMP Group, the market research company Taloustutkimus Oy interviewed over 1,600 temporary agency workers and over 800 corporate employers who lease staff. The interviews were conducted at the end of last year and at the beginning of this year. This was the fourth Temporary Agency Worker Survey; similar surveys were also carried out in 2003, 2005 and 2007. However, this was the first time that temporary agency workers were compared with other Finnish workers. For the control group, 2,824 persons who had evaluated their employer were selected from a personnel survey carried out by Taloustutkimus in the spring of 2010.

Temporary agency workers have an employment relationship with the personnel service company, but they work for the user company. Therefore, the personnel service company bears the employer’s responsibilities, such as wages and other employer payments, and it bills the user company for the work of the leased staff.

High levels of job satisfaction

Seven out of ten temporary agency workers were satisfied with their work, and their level of satisfaction was higher than among workers in general. Among temporary agency workers, the level of work satisfaction was 3.85 on a scale of 1 to 5, when among the control group, the figure was 3.59.

– Temporary agency personnel were also more excited about their work than the control group, and they felt appreciated as employees more often than the control group. Temporary agency workers were significantly more often willing to recommend their employer to others, says Research Director Merja Tuominen of Taloustutkimus.

A total of 69% of temporary agency workers were excited about their work. Most of them (79%) were often ready to give extra effort in order to get the best possible results in their work. This number was also higher than in the control group. Most temporary agency workers, 68% of the respondents, felt that their efforts had an influence on the success of their workplace. Although one in two respondents hoped that their work would continually provide new challenges, most (61%) found their current tasks adequately versatile.

– A large part of the work satisfaction of temporary agency workers depends on the contact person. Professional, easily available and reliable contact persons are, according to the survey, one of our strengths – as is inspiring work, says Managing Director Mika Kaukonen of the VMP Group.

The majority of temporary agency workers (93%) had a positive or neutral attitude towards the idea that their closest colleague could be an immigrant or a foreigner. Only 5% of respondents had negative feelings on the matter.

Life would be difficult without temporary agency work

According to the previous surveys, the most important reason for doing temporary agency work is the difficulty of obtaining a permanent job. It was mentioned as a reason for seeking temporary agency work by 43% of the respondents. It was an especially important motive for those who do not have any other form of employment besides temporary agency work. Among young people and those who occasionally do temporary agency work, other reasons were emphasized, such as additional income and a situation that did not allow working full-time. A desire for change, the freedom of temporary agency work and the difficulty of finding permanent work were slightly less frequent reasons for seeking temporary agency work than before.

If temporary agency work was not possible, nearly three out of four would feel that their lives would become more difficult. In this regard, attitudes have not changed in the past three years.
Nearly every other temporary agency worker was actively seeking permanent employment through temporary agency work. More temporary agency workers sought full-time employment than part-time, but as many as four out of five considered part-time work as a possible future option, if it suited their situation otherwise. A majority of respondents (75%) were also interested in part-time work as a form of employment either close to or after retirement.

One-third found temporary agency work in less than a week

Temporary agency personnel consisted of almost equal percentages of men and women. Two-thirds of respondents were under 35 years old. Typical education among respondents was at secondary levels of vocational education, either in technology or economics. Compared to previous years, the level of education of temporary agency workers had risen; there were fewer respondents who had only graduated from secondary school and more respondents who had either graduated from or were studying at a university or polytechnic. More than half did temporary agency work occasionally and only about one in four, fewer than before, did mainly temporary agency work. Half of the respondents belonged to a trade union.

Over one-third of the respondents had acquired work through VMP Group in less than a week of submitting their first application. The number of respondents who acquired word in two weeks came to 63 %. Compared to previous surveys, the average time for receiving work had slightly increased.

For companies, temporary agency workers equal reliable service

The companies leasing staff evaluated that if it was impossible to lease staff, it would compromise their customer service. More than half (56%) found that their ability to serve customers would deteriorate and over one-third believed that the situation would decrease the profitability (35%) of the company and its potential for growth (35%).

Temporary agency personnel are most often used in production and service tasks. Two in five companies using temporary agency personnel had leased staff for production tasks and one in three for service tasks. Approximately one in ten customer companies used leased staff for other duties, such as storage and office tasks.

Leased personnel are usually used during peak seasons and in times when more staff are needed but it is not yet possible to hire new permanent personnel. Both reasons were given as motives by over half of the companies leasing staff. Approximately one in four companies leased staff because of sick leave, annual leave or other substitutions of permanent staff, and one in five because of recruiting difficulties.

One-third of the companies had given permanent work to a temporary agency worker supplied by the VMP Group. The number was higher than in previous surveys.

– In a variety of situations, temporary agency work is a good alternative for employers and employees alike because of its flexibility. Professionals get work and companies get resources where they are most needed, comments Mika Kaukonen.

For more information:
Research Director Merja Tuominen, Taloustutkimus Oy, tel. +358 2 284 8010, merja.tuominen@taloustutkimus.fi
Managing Director Mika Kaukonen, VMP Group, tel. +358 40 307 5001, mika.kaukonen@vmp.fi

www.vmp.fi

The VMP Group is one of Finland’s biggest providers of personnel services. Supported by the nation’s most extensive service network, the VMP Group offers its customers a broad range of solutions supporting their business operations, including staff leasing and recruiting, outsourcing and training as well as international recruiting specialized in supplying professionals from other countries. The Finnish-owned group, established in 1988, wants to be a partner in the process of ensuring responsible productivity in working life in all its market segments. The VMP Group operates through its franchises in Finland, Sweden and Estonia. The group also has an office in Romania specializing in the supply of employees with foreign backgrounds. In 2010, VMP employed 14,000 professionals in almost 4,000 customer companies.

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