Temping vs contracting


It is a common misconception that temping and contracting are similar. Actually, there are quite a number of significant differences between Temporary and Contract assignments, including the duration of the assignment, pay scales, job nature, the speed to hire and also the underlying needs behind the assignment.




Understanding the differences

  • A Temp is a person hired at a short notice to perform tasks that require minimal training or guidance. The assignment is usually very short-term in nature and commence with little warning. Firms typically use Temps for support positions that are critical to the day-to-day operation of their business. A good example of a Temp assignment would be a replacement for a secretary or receptionist while the permanent member of staff is away ill or on annual leave
  • A Contractor is a skilled professional that is hired on a fixed-term basis to perform a specific role or project. Contract assignment sometimes occur with little warning but tend to be longer in duration and the nature of the work is usually more specialised than the work performed by Temp staff. A good example of a Contract assignment would be when a firm needs to complete a project that requires specialised skills that do not exist in the firm; but that they will have no need for once the project is completed
  • A Contract assignments usually last from a minimum of three to 12 months and in some cases even a number of years. Temp assignment can be as short as one day and rarely last longer than a month. Therefore, as a Temp, you might find yourself working for only a couple of days a week and then the next week working a full week but at a different firm

As you can see from the above descriptions, contracting typically requires a higher level of specialised skills than Temping and the pay rates are usually higher for Contractors.

Another difference relates to the duration of the assignment. As such, Temp become experts at fitting in to any office environment but rarely has the chance to get to know the firm they work for. Whereas Contractors will work a full week and are more likely to integrate well into the company they are working with.

Contracting typically requires a higher level of specialised skills than Temping and the pay rates are usually higher for Contractors

Invaluable service to organisations

“Contract to Perm” is a common strategy used by firms. Contractors who demonstrate that they are able to integrate well into the company culture often receive a permanent offer at the end of the contract assignment. This practice is less common with Temp assignment.

Despite their differences, Temps and Contractors both provide a valuable service to organisation as they enable the day-to-day operations of a business to continue without the interruption by the inconvenience of absent staff or exceptional projects by providing flexible resource solutions. 

Talk to one of our specialist recruitment consultants today and learn more about the benefits temping and contracting.

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