Choosing to be a temp? What you need to know.

Temporary, contract or interim job opportunities are booming and play a vital role in Australia’s economy. Many candidates prefer not to work in a fixed way or use interim roles to move into something more permanent or senior.

“Temporary work can offer candidates higher rates, more flexibility and a way to build experience quickly.  It’s also a way for unemployed workers or people returning to work to get back into employment and are strong vehicles for people to break into competitive job markets”, commented CGC Recruitment’s Chief Operating Officer, James Grantham. 

Choosing a temporary job position

A temporary role today could easily become a permanent job tomorrow. And many job seekers are opting for temp and contract positions to kickstart/turbocharge their careers. There are still, however, many misconceptions about temporary jobs. Whether or not you choose this as your career path, here are a few things you need to know.

The difference between, temp, interim and contract roles

  1. Temp or temporary roles are short-term and flexible, they can last anywhere from a few hours to a few months.  The term of the engagement might not be fully defined, and you’ll typically work and be paid through a recruitment agency.
  2. Interim roles are much the same as a temp role, however, the candidate is taking over a role or activity as an interim measure, such as covering an absence.
  3. Contract roles are typically more defined, such as a specific end date and terms.  Contractors are normally paid pro-rata through the company payroll, and this agreement can be set for a fixed-term basis or on a rolling contract.

The key differences between temp, interim and contract roles can be the level at which they operate.

  • Temp roles can range from assistant to manager level
  • Interim is more management and executive level, and
  • Contracting is largely, although not exclusively, for professionals with a niche skillset.

Temporary jobs can be a great steppingstone 

If you are looking to thrive in a competitive job market, then temping is a great option. Working as a temp in a company, or a field of interest, gives you a chance to “try before you buy”, and you never know, you might become the next full-time employee the business hires.

Improve your CV

A CV with exciting temp roles is far better than one with unexplained career gaps. It demonstrates how ambitious, adaptable and experienced you are. It is no longer a red flag on your resume; instead, it makes it relevant and demonstrates you’re able to roll-up your sleeves and complete tasks at hand.

Is your CV up-to-date? Download the free CV template here.

Flexibility and networking

There’s a huge advantage in work/life balance since you can take out time for yourself to accomplish other personal or professional goals, or even to care for your family. 

Taking on temp work is also an opportunity to network, however short or long it might be. Furthermore, you get exposure to more people in different corporate cultures, helping you identify and align with the type of environment that best suits you.

Temps don’t earn less

It’s a myth that temps earn less – in a lot of instances they command a higher hourly rate than permanent staff! For instance, project management specialists take up the role of skilled workers and keep projects on track. As such, their pay is higher due to the complexity of the projects they work on, and their required skills and experience.

Although higher rates can be due to a lack of security, if you manage the roles you work on well and work with specialist recruiters, it can be a financial positive.

Permanent contractors

There are many types of jobs that are well suited to contractors, some of whom prefer to work in this way.  That’s not to say they won’t spend many years with the same business, but they may move from project to project.  Working as a contractor can provide them with greater freedom, more flexibility and the ability to renegotiate fees at set periods, as opposed to waiting on pay increases which may or may not happen.

Some contractors may even choose to set themselves up as a business, so they are paid as a supplier and not an employee.  Whilst this can offer tax incentives, it should not be entered into lightly, as you need to understand the legal and tax implications.  You should always speak to a professional recruiter and an independent accountant first.

Working through a professional recruitment agency

If you are planning to take up temp, contract or interim work, the right recruitment agency will match your skills to a potential employer; as-well-as provide the right advice. Specialist recruitment consultancies, such as CGC Recruitment, can help. 

With offices Sydney and Brisbane, we specialise in fulfilling roles in the engineering, construction and infrastructure sectors throughout Australia and at all levels.

If you’re looking for a role, you can search our latest vacancies here, or alternatively, upload your CV and we’ll contact you when we have a suitable vacancy available.