Hiring decisions are critical decisions.

Deciding which person to bring into your organisation is nothing like deciding which brand of TV to buy or even which accountant to use.

Recruitment is the start of a professional working relationship. 

Whether you are looking to hire someone for two months or two years, it’s essential to carefully consider the skills, experience, attitude, approach, ability and ‘fit’ with your team. 

The choice between hiring on a permanent and temporary basis is critically important. This article outlines the distinctive benefits of each option.

The benefits of hiring a temporary employee

Temporary workers are typically hired for short-term periods of weeks to months, but that doesn’t mean you don’t get to enjoy the benefits of high performing traits. 

One of the key benefits of hiring temporary staff is accessing an adaptable skill set. Your organisation can leverage the key skills and relevant experience a temporary employee brings, quickly.

Temporary staff are also generally available immediately. A quality recruiter will have already undertaken reference checks, background checks and even skills-testing for each temporary candidate, enabling you to make a fast decision and get them started swiftly.

Hiring a temporary team member does not require the same level of ongoing commitment as hiring a permanent employee. This mobility can be great for major project and organisations that need access to a flexible, dynamic and highly skilled workforce. 

Another key benefit is access to specialist skills that don’t currently exist in your team. Temporary staff are sought out in order to address the immediate needs of your organisation, so you can customise your workforce and available skill sets to suit your current needs.

Things to consider when hiring a temporary employee

Have you thought about how you will onboard and look after temporary staff?

Even if someone is only joining you for a short term, creating a positive and supported employee experience is important.

While the fast hiring and onboarding of a temporary employee can bring immediate benefits, hiring a temporary employee via a recruitment agency involves a recruitment costs.  The recruiter will charge you a margin on a per day or per hour basis, on top of the hourly rate that gets paid to the temp and the statutory oncosts.

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A third option - fixed-term contract

Recruiting a new team member on a fixed-term contract is an ideal middle ground ie slightly more stability for the employee while still maintaining flexibility for you as the employer. 

The difference here is that a fixed-term contract has an agreed length and end date.

Just as in a permanent hiring solution, there exists a direct employment relationship between your organisation and the new employee, including statutory leave and superannuation - and an agreed notice period should either party want to terminate the contract early.

Fixed-term contracts are a great option for newly created roles, coverage of long-term leave and organisations funded on 2-5 year government funding cycles. 

What’s the difference between a temporary engagement and a fixed-term contract?

Employment relationship

Temporary workers are usually employed by the recruitment agency, which means the responsibility for candidate communication and payroll management lies with the agency. 

In most cases, contract employees are employed by the hiring organisation on a fixed-term basis and paid directly via your payroll.

Notice period

This is a big one, especially if flexibility is important for your business.

Notice can be as short as 24 hours for temporary employees, while it’s standard for a fixed-term contract to have a 2-4 week notice period.

Leave and benefits 

All workers in Australia, regardless of their employment status, must be paid superannuation.

Leave entitlements are a slightly different story. Temporary workers aren’t entitled to leave, whereas fixed-term contract employees are usually allowed a pro-rata leave entitlement.

Deciding whether to hire on a temporary or permanent basis is an important choice.

In considering your options, you might find it useful to read this article about temporary staff costs in Australia.

What are the benefits of hiring a temp?