I recently wrote a blog for employers explaining why hiring temps or contractors is a beneficial business strategy.

But that’s just one side of the equation.  What about the worker?  Here are some of the benefits for job seekers.

Some people choose temp work as a lifestyle (ICT contractors for example) going from project to project and enjoying some down-time in between, whilst others do it out of necessity to pay the bills.   Whatever the reason, here are some thoughts on how to make the most out of the experience.

Skill development

Working in various temp roles broadens your industry experience, exposes you to new technologies and methods and enables you to learn from others.  If you are ultimately looking for a permanent position, gaining exposures to different industries can hold you in good stead to avoid the all too often used statement “but you don’t have relevant industry experience”.  It can also keep your skills up to date and relevant so that you can be in demand more often.

Demand is growing

Contingent work is a growing global trend (check out Oxford Economics study of 2700 executives across 27 countries).  Yet, rather than a problem that needs to be eradicated in place of secure, permanent employment, it presents incredible opportunities for you.  Here in Australia the recent Kinetic Super Contingent Job Index December 2017 quarterly report highlights a “56% increase in the number of contingent jobs advertised nationally since Index data commenced in November 2013”. This means more and more temporary, contract and casual jobs are being advertised, giving you the opportunity to apply for a wider range of roles than in the past.

Engage with your Recruitment Consultant

When unplanned situations arise, employers are often caught out and need “Johnny on the spot” candidates. As frustrating as it can be for us Recruiters when a client calls at 5:30pm with an urgent short term staffing requirement for the following day, this can be ideal for a job hungry candidate.  Being visible to your recruitment consultant and actively engaged with them can give you the edge over candidates who don’t keep their consultant updated with their availability.  Believe me, when we search our database at 5:30pm to fill an urgent vacancy to commence the next day, knowing you are available and keen to be working will get you a call over others.  This is a win, win, win situation for you, us and our client.  And it basically comes down to effective communication between you and your consultant. Recruiters need accessible, available and reliable contractors, so keep in contact to be in demand when the time comes.

Reliability is key

Although the temp job you perform may be boring or lack challenge, treat it with the effort you’d expect from someone working for you.  Employers and recruiters’ value reliability and you are far more likely to get a promotion, a call back or a second placement in a better role if you grin and bear it.  Having started my career as a Temp Recruiter placing accounting staff, I kept calling those candidates who had done great work for my clients and who treated the accounts of their host employer with the care and accuracy as they would running their own finances.  Some of those candidates I placed in more than ten different roles because they were so good.

Recognise the cycles

Looking for a job is a marketing exercise. You need to be visible to the right people at the right time.  If you are a talented Accountant with strengths in year-end reporting, then make yourself known the recruiters and employers in the lead up to local and international reporting deadlines, so that you can be selected for roles when hiring companies need you the most.  It also means, your hourly or daily rate can be negotiated during a phase of high demand for your talents.

Temp to perm

Hiring a permanent employee is a high risk exercise for an employer.  Hiring a temp is not, which is why temps are often transitioned into permanent roles once the employer had “trialed” the performance and determined that they can’t afford to let the temp leave.  But this is a two-way street, so as a temp, you can trial the employer to decide if this is the type of organisation that fits with you.

Temporary employment is growing and your career can benefit if you position yourself to take advantage of the opportunities.

Ben Walsh – General Manager, Recruitment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *