What is a Temporary Worker?
A temporary worker (also known as a contingent worker or a temp) is a part-time or contingent worker who is hired on a short-term basis. A temporary worker lacks a long-term employment contract. He or she often has a contract for a certain period of time or for a particular assignment; temp workers are often the first employees to be laid off during periods of economic downturn.
Below is information on temporary workers, including how to find a temp job, types of temp jobs, benefits for temps, and interview advice.
There is also information on how to turn a temporary job into a permanent one.
How Do Temps Find Jobs?
There are many ways to find a temporary job. You can look for listings on job search websites, in local newspapers, and on Craigslist. Some temporary jobs may also be listed on job boards at college career services departments or at state-funded, non-profit employment agencies.
Many agencies also specialize in temporary hiring. Most agencies focus on a particular industry or geographic area; these industries include information technology, healthcare, accounting, office administration, legal services, and industrial labor.
You can also network with friends, family, and other contacts to see if they know of any temporary jobs available. Some contacts might have an employee going on vacation or on leave, and will need a temporary replacement during their absence.
How Do Temps Prepare for Job Interviews?
An interview for a temporary job is just as important as an interview for a full-time job.
If you are interviewing for a temp job through an agency, your first interview will likely be with the agency. Otherwise, your interview will be with the company.
No matter whom you interview with, be sure to prepare.
Dress appropriately, research the company, and practice answering common interview questions.
In particular, be sure to practice these common temporary job interview questions.
The job market is highly competitive for both permanent and temporary positions. Put your best foot forward and take the interview as seriously as you would for a permanent job.
What Benefits Do Temps Receive?
Many temporary workers often have the freedom to set their own hours and choose their own projects. However, most of them are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance or unemployment insurance. They therefore do not receive the same benefits as full-time employees.
If you are considering a temporary job, make sure you look carefully at both the salary and the benefits package. If you are employed directly by a temp agency (which issues your paycheck), this agency may provide healthcare benefits.
Can a Temporary Job Become Permanent?
A temp to perm job is one that starts out as temporary, but then becomes a permanent job. If you are having trouble finding a job in your industry, this is one way to get your foot in the door. It’s also a great way to hone your skills, pay your bills, and expand your network of professional contacts while you search for a permanent job. Demonstrate enthusiasm and hard work in a temp job, and there is a chance it will become permanent.
If the company really likes you, they might even make a full-time position just for you.
What Kinds of Jobs Do Temps Have?
Most temporary jobs are seasonal positions available during the summer and holiday breaks. Many industries offer temporary work during these periods. Common jobs include holiday retail and delivery positions, tax season jobs, and outdoor seasonal or harvest jobs.
However, almost every industry offers some kind of temporary work. Because temp jobs are often more cost effective than hiring a full-time worker, many industries use them.
Here's a list of types of temporary jobs.
- Accounting / Bookkeeping
- Administrative / Clerical
- Art / Theater Production
- Call Center
- Copy Center
- Data Entry
- Exam Scoring
- Health Care
- Information Technology
- Lawyer / Legal Assistant
- Light Industrial
- Mail Center
- Package Handling
- Recruiting / Human Resources
- Restaurant / Food Service
- Shipping / Delivery
- Tax Services