why temping works

Article by: Ryoma Parker, Consultant - Victoria

Whenever I’m interviewing a candidate, we get down to the end of the interview and I ask them what their preferred type of employment is. Invariably there is hesitation when I ask if temporary contracting is something that the candidate will consider. “I’m looking for something with a bit more security”, “I’m looking for something longer term” or “Temp isn’t for me” are just a few common responses. 

I get it. We’re still stuck in the notion that you stick to the career plan, you get THE job, keep it long term and work your way to the top. It's been that way for generations - and because of that, there can be a stigma attached to contract work. Despite the opportunities in contract and temp in a gig economy outweighing permanent positions, the stigma remains.
With that in mind, allow me to play devil’s advocate and share my own experience with temporary contractors. I myself started as ‘the temp’ with HR Partners. It was a ‘try before you buy’ for both me and the company. It allowed me the chance to see what the role entailed ‘up close and personal’ before putting any sort of pen to paper. It’s now 3.5 years since I joined the company!

Beyond that, with my recruiter hat back on, I’ve been able to find candidates a job very quickly, sometimes even starting the day after I’ve met them! It keeps the money coming in while you are looking for work and closes down some of those dreaded ‘gaps’ on your resume. I know of many candidates who prefer the ‘contract life’, getting exposure to a new organisation, new HR practices, new stakeholders, they love the opportunity to build their network. Rolling from one assignment to the next. One cool project to a whole new challenge and experience at the next.

“Yes Ryo that’s great, but I get no annual leave or sick days”. 

But you do get that coveted 25% casual leave loading. I have some candidates who are on contract and can’t believe what their annual salary equates to when they multiply the hours they intend on working by their hourly pay rate. It can be quite lucrative and more than make up for the 4 weeks you intend to take off over a 12-month window. 

Math time: Take the coveted, six-figure $100,000 a year salary ($54 per hour equivalent), $54 per hour might not sound like much initially, but with the casual leave loading? Multiply it by 48 weeks of the 52 week year you intend on working (we all need time off at some point), the 38 hours you commit to a week, plus that 25% loading (dependent on your award/EBA) - and you’re looking at approximately $120,000 by the end of it. That extra 20K will be more than enough to fund your time off and or if you’re like me, you could put it straight into the ‘trip-to-Europe-whenever-we’re-allowed-to-go-there-again fund’!

The clients I work with right now are looking to hire temporary contractors because it's easy and it's fast for them. The market has already switched this way. So it might be worthwhile taking a second think about your answer the next time your recruiter asks if you would consider temporary contracting - you could be closing the door on finding a job quickly, getting better money, building your network, experiencing a new organisation or project and gaining new skills. 

It seems like a lot to leave at the table otherwise.

View our latest temporary assignments.

about the author

Ryoma Parker - Consultant - Victoria

Connecting great HR Talent. It’s not just a catchy punch line, it’s what I do. I find great HR People and find them great careers. I’m a specialist HR Recruiter and I work closely with emerging HR professionals across Melbourne and Victoria.

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