Thinking of being a temp? Here’s What To Know

Being A Temp

Thinking of being a temp? Here’s What To Know

In 2015, companies hired 3.3 million temporary workers per week. If you’re thinking of being a temp, there are a few basic things to know to help you make the most of the experience.

Being A Temp

Here are things to know if you are considering being a temp:

How does it work? Basically, temp agencies are like sophisticated matchmakers. Temporary agencies (also referred to as staffing agencies), keep extensive records on all of their potential employees, as well as the needs of their client companies.

They then will share the profiles, resumes, or other details of their temporary workers with a client when they have a specific need. For example, if an accounting firm needs a secretary, they will share several names of people, with varying degrees of experience that are relevant to the job specifications of the client.

When you meet with the client, you’ll usually be vetted by them as well, and then they will communicate to the agency if they want to move forward. If they do, you will be an employee of the temporary agency, not the client company.

What to expect? It depends on the agency, but expect to go through an interview of sorts, asking about your experience, what sort of jobs you are interested in, your educational background and similar.

There may also be more logistical questions — how far are you willing to commute, do you have restrictions on which hours or days you are available, or your income expectations.

What to ask. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, just as you would of a more traditional employer. Ask if they specialize in certain types of jobs, such as accounting or clerical, or in certain industries, such as manufacturing or legal.

Find out how long you can expect to wait before being sent out to meet one of their clients, and how long the average job lasts.

If you’re interested, find out if they do temp-to-perm, an option where clients can hire you first as a temporary employee, but have the opportunity to make you an offer to become a permanent hire if you’re an especially good match. You can also ask if they offer any benefits, paid vacation or other traditional employee perks.

Who it’s best for. Anyone can find a temporary position useful, and even enjoyable. But having the right goals and appropriate expectations are important. First, remember that temporary positions are just that — temporary.

If you’re hoping to immediately leverage one of these positions into a full time, long-term job, you could be setting yourself up for disappointment. Also, you need to be flexible and able to adapt quickly to changing corporate environments.

Some companies will have strict hours, a dress code, and a more formal approach. The next job might be a lot more casual.

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Being a temp can be a great opportunity.

Whether you are looking for experience, or more flexibility or a short term income source, a temporary agency could be the right answer for your needs.

You just want to make sure that you put enough effort into the process to find the right company for your needs, and have the right expectations of what the experience is likely to be. But millions of people — literally — have found a long term road to happiness through a series of short-term jobs.



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