6 Questions to Ask the Recruiter Before Accepting a Temporary Job

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Receiving a job offer is always gratifying, even if it is a temporary job. But candidates should beware of getting carried away by the excitement to the extent that they forget to ask some crucial questions to recruiters. Details like duration of the assignment, rate structure, notice period etc. are critical for the candidate since they are directly related to the terms of employment. Yet it is surprising how many candidates neglect putting forward these basic queries to the detriment of all stakeholders.

Getting the Information You Need

When a candidate gets a job, it is their responsibility to analyse its pros and cons. One way of doing this involves a detailed conversation with the recruiter. The guide below will help you understand what questions to ask them prior to accepting the offer. The answers can tell you a great deal about the suitability of the role and paint a vivid picture of what to expect.

1. Why is this a temporary position?

This is a key question whose answer can reveal many important details including the job difficulty level, major challenges, likely duration etc. It can also indicate whether the potential exists for a permanent role. This is a great first question because it can uncover many hidden aspects while highlighting certain topics you may wish to probe.

2. What is the duration?

Once you have a general idea of the role and the reason for its temporary nature, it’s time to get down to the specifics. How long will it last? Is there any chance of the duration being extended? What, if any, are the chances of it being converted into a permanent job (you can delve into the details here)? This information is important because it has a direct bearing on how you should be planning your future.

3. What are the responsibilities for this job?

What exactly does the job entail? Do you have the necessary skills for the job, or will you be struggling once you take it up? You will find the answer to these questions here. Important tip: Cross-check the list of job requirements with the employer when you arrive for the interview, to be sure about the role. It is not unusual to see wide divergences in the requirements presented by the recruiter and the employer, as employers often tend to give a separate list to the agency.

4. Do I need to get any tools or equipment?

This question is often overlooked, but it is an important one. Temporary workers are often expected to bring their own tools/equipment unlike permanent employees. They may be compensated for this, though that is not always the case. If the employer expects you to get your own equipment, it is important to know in advance. That way you know what to bring, what to buy, and how much you should add to your hourly rate.

5. Will there be any training offered?

Apart from helping you settle into the role, professional training helps you upgrade your skills and improves your value in the job market. Companies generally require temporary employees to attend a curtailed induction programme which may or may not be followed by a training session. If there is training involved, the candidate should be intimated in advance so that they can be mentally prepared.

6. Have you agreed on the hourly rate?

Discussing your hourly rate with the agency saves time by ensuring you are only sent for relevant interviews. Inform the agency that the rate is indicative and is subject to revision depending on your understanding of the roles and responsibilities following your interview with the employer. This will give you some headroom in terms of adjusting your pay after factoring in the specificities of the job.

Clarifications on Notice Period

All temporary jobs come with a certain degree of instability. The employer is at liberty to end the contract early in which case you will be directly impacted. The notice period for early termination of contract is usually two weeks though there are cases where no notice period is required. It is important to know the details so that you can take steps to prepare yourself.

Conversely, it is important to know details of the notice you need to give the agency should you wish to move on from the job. Such an eventuality may arise when you find a permanent job for which you will need to quit the current assignment. Inadequate information regarding notice protocols could have unpleasant consequences including costing you the new job, which is why it is best to clarify it upfront before committing to an assignment.

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