Job Hunting Tips

Should You Undertake Temp Work While Applying for Permanent Jobs?

Mark Smith Posted by Mark
min read

Sometimes the universe works in ways that puts many of us into situations we would otherwise not choose. At people2people, we see many people who are somehow 'in between' jobs, either by choice or otherwise. As a recruitment firm, people2people provide a variety of services, one of which is the provision of short term temporary staff. Clients call us looking to secure suitably qualified talent for short term assignments. The key to being a successful temp provider is having a pool of immediately available talent. Unfortunately, many people today still view temp work very flippantly. Our consultants often hear people say, 'I am not interested in temp work; I am looking for permanent work only.'  

I am not going to go into the merits of working as a contractor here. You can explore this by reading this and this. Instead, I would like to raise a couple of points that many people who are immediately available in between jobs and who are seeking permanent work only often overlook. First, many employers consider people who are currently working, primarily because you are demonstrating your value, as other employers are currently satisfied with your work. If employers believe it's a hard market to find talent and you are immediately available, they often ask more questions about why exactly you are immediately available. 

Of course, you are likely to have a completely reasonable explanation, but if you don't get the opportunity to explain (e.g. you only send a resume) then your chances of securing a role can be diminished.


The second reason, and probably the main reason for writing this post today, is to consider the fact that most employers are willing to wait for the best talent. The standard notice period in Australia today is four weeks, so, with the time to undertake the recruitment process, most employers factor in about six weeks from the time they are notified of a resignation to having someone commence work. 

This means that if you find yourself in a situation where you are immediately available for work and a consultant asks whether you will consider temp work, you should answer YES, but with a proviso. You will only undertake short term work of up to six weeks. Not only do you get some cash when undertaking temp work, you build a reputation with the agency, have another reference for future employers, and expand your network and skill set by working in a new environment. You may be thinking that's all well and good, but I want to concentrate on getting a perm job, which often means be available to start at short or no notice or attend interviews. This is a minor advantage for any employer. 

They are expecting people to be in work and having to give notice. If an employer wants to hire you permanently simply because you are available immediately, you should be wary. So next time you find yourself available immediately for work, don't panic, and consider ALL your options. Take a more informed look at what it means to do a short term temp job. It's not going to affect your permanent job search and may very well work in your favour.