What’s the difference between Temporary work and Contracting?

People often use the words Temporary and Contractor interchangeably, but they are two different employment arrangements.

Temporary, or ‘Temp’ work, can range from one day to several months. It mostly involves working through an agency such as the Interchange Bench which finds suitable short-term assignments for ‘the talent’ that matches the needs of the hiring organisation. These ‘needs’ may cover  peak periods or staff absences, such as long service leave. Temps are employed on a casual basis and The Interchange Bench manages everything from pay to performance.

Contracting generally applies to longer-term specialised employment. As a candidate, The Interchange Bench negotiates remuneration, the period of time, and scope of work to be performed over the course of the contract.  Contracts are ideal for specific projects where specialised skills are required.

It took me a while to understand these differences, but now you’ll also be an expert on Temporary & Contract staffing!

9 things to know to succeed as a Temp

We have hundreds of temps who value their temporary working arrangements.  Following are some hot tips for prospective Temps to get the most from this flexible work style, want to work on your free days (such as while studying or providing care), or if you’re looking for immediate employment.

  1. Commitment
    Know the timeframe of the role and commit to it. If you have prior arrangements or are successful for another role, refrain from looking further until the assignment is coming to an end. If you’re not having a positive experience with the role, then inform your consultant immediately.
  2. Be on time
    Pretty self-explanatory, don’t be late for anything… interviews, first day, induction etc.
  3. Provide feedback to your consultant
    Are you enjoying the role? If so, what do you like about it? Anything you don’t like about the role? All feedback is helpful. We as an agency can use that to better tailor your next assignment to those aspects of the role.
  4. Know your availability
    Are there certain days you can’t do? Do you have any holidays planned? Do you have work limitations? Can you only work certain hours of the day due to school pick up? Are you a student with study commitments?
  5. Be contactable
    Your consultant may need to contact you with sudden changes or role changes. It’s best to outline what communication method is appropriate and/or the best method for you to communicate with your consultant/recruiter. For example, I find email the best form during the onboarding process but calls and texts are optimal once you’re out working. This is due to the sudden changes that may occur during your shift.
  6. Do your research
    Research a bit about the client before meeting them. Gain an understanding of the organisation, what they do and where they are located. Read the position description and know the dress code. Check the parking options if you will be driving, or look-up how to get there by public transport.
  7. Flexibility around the role
    Just like a full-time job, your role within the organisation can change slightly day by day. If you are being asked to do a task that you’re uncomfortable with, reach out to your consultant. Whatever you do, don’t leave the premises unannounced!
  8. Maintain confidentiality
    Maintaining the confidentiality of the information your privileged to at work.  Some employers may even request a formal privacy or non-disclosure agreement. If you have difficulty working with others at the organisation, reach out to your consultant in the first instance, that’s what we’re here for. Posting negative comments on social media is not the way to resolve the situation!

Ask the client questions

Never feel embarrassed to ask questions. It’s always better to ask – and sooner than later. Asking questions allows you find out more about the job, the tasks required, helps provides context and shows that you’re interested in the role. Now that you’re ready to Temp, get in touch with me on our consultant contacts page, or connect with me on LinkedIn.