Did you know that temporary workers do not have to pay any fees to the temping agency to enlist or get a job? Or that temping does not always mean short-term work? Or, temps may also be entitled to employment benefits like sick leaves and health insurance just like permanent employees?
Despite the growing popularity of temping, there is a major information gap among the public that obfuscates the true nature of the activity and fosters many misconceptions. In the following paragraphs, we bring to light five little-known facts about this type of work with a view to raising awareness among readers and setting the record straight.
1. High-skilled employees can also apply
The history of the modern staffing agency can be traced back to the post-World War II period in the US when a number of such firms arose with the objective of helping homemakers find part-time office work. These days the industry is equipped to assist a wide range of workers—from shop-floor employees to data scientists. In particular, it has received a spurt with the rise of the gig economy. Specialised temping agencies catering to industries like banking, IT, legal, healthcare etc. also exist to fulfil sector-specific manpower needs
2. Temporary work does not always mean short-term work
Temporary work does not necessarily mean short-term or sporadic work as the name suggests. Indeed, the term ‘temporary’ may be somewhat misleading in this regard because it encompasses a wide variety of tenurial arrangements.
The duration of a temporary job may range from a single day to several months depending on the business requirement. The length depends on variables like project duration, company performance, and so on. For example, a temp that has been hired for a specific project may be retained for the next one if their work is up to the mark. Or, a temp that has been engaged to fill the position of a permanent employee that is on maternity leave may have their term prolonged in the event of a leave extension. There are dozens of reasons why a tenure could be extended. In some cases, it may even span a few years mimicking permanent employment.
3. There are employment benefits
One of the chief criticisms of temping is that it does not offer employment benefits, unlike permanent roles. This is only partly true and not the whole story. It is correct to say that the hiring company is not required to extend any employee benefits to temporary workers, but this drawback is offset by the staffing agency which extends its own benefits to the employee. Though the nature and coverage of benefits vary from one firm to another, a good temping agency will provide many of the same benefits enjoyed by permanent workers like health insurance, pension, paid holidays and bonus with a view to ensuring social security and financial stability for their employees.
4. Employees do not have to pay the temping agency
There is a widespread notion that workers need to pay the temping agency to enlist or obtain work. This is simply not true. The temping agency generally takes a portion of the payment remitted by the hiring company in lieu of your work. For example, if the hiring company pays AED 150 per hour, the temping agency will pay the employee AED 100 and keep the rest as commission for its services. In no case does the agency charge any fees directly from the employee.
5. It’s not just those who can’t find jobs that take up temporary employment
Although there are many people that take up temporary gigs because they are between jobs, there are others who prefer temping due to reasons like flexible timings, not wanting to be tied down to a single company, and so on. A major category of workers includes homemakers that cannot afford to do full-time work but wish to devote a few hours a day to stay in touch with their professional skills. Students are another important demographic segment.
It is also not unusual to find career temps who tend to prefer this type of employment to permanent jobs. They come from a wide range of backgrounds and are generally always in demand due to the excellent skills they possess. Some of the positions where you will see a lot of career temps are executive assistant, personal assistant, receptionists, accounting support and project coordinators. Sometimes, companies specifically request for certain temps that have worked with them and have proven themselves resulting in a stable arrangement between all stakeholders—the agency, the hiring company and the employee.
Temping is part of a larger cultural shift with more and more workers shifting to it both due to economic imperatives and personal choice. On the demand side, Covid-19 is pushing companies to increase the number of temporary hires in the interest of retaining a flexible workforce. Temping is an attractive option in these circumstances to help you find rewarding work, an income source, and develop important professional skills.