Something I’ve seen often in my years of recruiting engineers is fear of the word “temporary,” from clients and candidates alike. While temps are common in admin roles, it’s often seen as a dirty word in other industries.
Clients worry that someone put in a temp role won’t perform as well as permanent staff. Candidates are nervous that a temporary position isn’t a “real” role and will hinder, not help, their CV. I can confidently say that temporary positions are often a better option for both parties than a permanent position.
Try before making a commitment. If you’re looking for a person to eventually fill a permanent position, starting them as a temp makes a lot of sense. You’ll get a better understanding of their skills and how they fit onto key projects as well as whether they’re the right cultural fit without a lengthy contract. If they’re someone you’d like long-term, it’s easy to keep them on. And if they’re not quite right, you can both part ways with no hard feelings and no hefty agency fees.
Save time. Sometimes you need someone immediately. Your consultant already has a pool of tried and tested candidates who can get the job done at a moment’s notice. Let me know your requirements, and if available, I can have someone at your office the next day. That means you can skip the interviews and negotiating and get down to business.
Fill the gaps. Maybe you have a months-long project that requires a skill no one on staff currently has, but the need is few and far between. Hiring a temp is a simple, cost-effective way to bridge the gap between skills you might require infrequently.
But what about for candidates? Contrary to popular belief, joining a company as a temp can be extremely beneficial for job seekers:
Give your dream company – or one you’re not too sure about – a test run. You’ve wanted to work at a particular company or are potentially hesitant about one. This is a terrific opportunity to “interview” the business and make contacts during your time there. Is this a company you could see yourself working at long-term? Do their values align with your own? Are you pleased with the work-life balance that employees have? A temp role gives you the chance to test the waters before committing.
Enjoy work flexibility. I work with a candidate who is pursuing a side career, but still enjoys his engineering work. Working a temp role several times a week enables him to pursue his newfound interest while keeping his engineering skills up-to-date.
Try your hand at different projects. If you’ve always worked on similar projects or organisations, taking on a contract position allows you to test the waters and expose yourself to different ways of tackling similar problems. Best of all, you can parlay these experiences into your next permanent role.
Keep earning money. Let’s face it: sometimes finding the right permanent role is tough and while you’re job hunting, your bank account balance is dwindling. Temp positions often pay at a slightly higher hourly rate than permanent positions, giving you peace of mind while you continue the long-term search. They also pay for every hour worked, unlike that 80K per annum role where you’re working 11-hour days. And if you do a great job, the contacts you make or the references you receive from your contract position could help you land that next full-time role.
Whether you need to fill a vacancy or are in pursuit of your next move, a temporary position is often the best option.