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What does it really mean to be a ‘Temp?’

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If you’re a job seeker you may have stumbled across the word ‘Temp’, but what does it really mean? Prior to working in the recruitment industry, I had a vague idea of what I thought ‘Temp’ work was, but boy was I wrong!

I have lived in Ballarat, pretty much my whole life, I spent one year down in Melbourne and when I decided to move back to Ballarat for a career change, I instantly panicked. I put pressure on myself to secure a full time position and nothing less. Not ONCE did Temporary assignments cross my mind. This is where I think Temping is highly underrated – granted I do work in the industry, so I may be a little bit bias – But speaking from experience, I didn’t even know this kind of flexible work even existed and I bet a lot of other people don’t know either. If I’m being honest, I thought a temp worker was someone filling in for 1 day while employees were off sick, I’ve now come to realise that it is so much more than just “filling in”.

So what exactly is “Temp work?” – The best way I can explain it is that businesses contact us at Inspire HQ when they have a specific skills gap or project that needs to be completed. The timeframe can vary from 1 week to 1 month to even up to 1 year. Businesses often require specific skills for temp assignments; requiring you to step into the role and hit the ground running. My role at Inspire HQ is to work with a range of people to fill temp positions and manage them from one project to the next.

There are multiple reasons why employers are now looking to hire more and more temporary workers, these can include…

  • Maternity/Annual/Long Service leave cover
  • Sick leave cover or a sudden departure
  • An employer needs extra staff over busy periods
  • They mightn’t know if they are ready to take on a permanent ongoing employee, so they test it out with a Temp worker initially
  • Specialised projects
  • Coverage after a resignation until the position is filled on a permanent basis

So what’s in it for you? As a Temp there are some pros and cons you must consider.

Let’s start with the Pros:

Flexibility – you get to choose when you want to work, what could be better than that? Employers that hire Temporary staff can sometimes be flexible with work hours and sometimes temp roles can fit within school hours. You can take on an assignment for 6 months, then head off on a nice long break before coming back and launching into another exciting role.

Great Pay – You’ll be rewarded with competitive hourly rates that include casual loading in lieu of annual leave and sick leave provisions.

Networking and progression – A Temp assignment is the best opportunity to prove your skills, impress people and grow your network (especially when everyone knows everyone in Ballarat). You may complete a temp job for one supervisor and then be referred to another department once your contract is up. There have been countless occasions when a temp has been placed in a position for a short period of time, then the employer calls and extends, asking if they can stay on for a few extra weeks and then weeks turn to months and before you know it you’ve been offered a permanent position – It does happen! The opportunities are endless!

The Cons:

Uncertainty – If you have been placed in a role, it may be a 6 month contract however as you are casual, you can be finished up at short notice if the project has been completed early or the work load has depleted. Some weeks your pay check may fluctuate due to the amount of hours you have worked.

Inconsistency – We cannot always guarantee that you will step into another role straight away after completing an assignment. There are times where you might have to wait for the right role to come up, this is where you need to be patient while we work with you to find you your next exciting temp role.

Personally, I think temp work is going to get more popular as the years go on, we all want flexibility and to work when we want to work, which employers are coming to understand. Employers are also using temps more and more often, as they need to scale their workforce up and down due to demand, contracts, and busy periods; utilising temps gives them the flexibility to do that. Watch this space, as I think you’ll see a massive shift and start seeing and hearing the word “temp” a lot more.

 

Amber Allen has built a successful career on providing exceptional customer service and building mutually beneficial relationships. As the Temporary Recruitment Strategist at Inspire HQ she has a passion for helping people love what they do. In the changing world of work; where businesses need the flexibility to scale their workforce and employees seek greater flexibility, Amber’s passion, initiative and problem solving skills ensure she gets the outcomes her clients need and want. Find more useful information and advice at www.inspirehq.com.au or by following Amber on Linked In.

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