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Do you have what it takes to temp?

Do you have what it takes to temp?

Posted on 18/12/2015 by Joanna Slaven

temp work

So you’ve recently returned home from travelling overseas, or maybe you’re in between jobs and unsure of your next career move.  Perhaps you have taken time out to start a family and are ready to re-enter the workforce (insert baby crying here!).  If any of these scenarios are resonating with you, perhaps this is the time to consider the merits of temporary employment.  Short or long term temporary work can offer a myriad of opportunities for people that have come to a crossroad in their career, but before you go launching yourself into unchartered territory, let’s see if it’s the right move for you.

Why do clients have temporary needs?

At Entrée, our core business is to provide business support and administration staff to the clients we partner with and these clients can work across any industry.  As long as they have staffing needs for Receptionists, Accounts Clerks, Personal Assistants (to name a few), they can potentially have a need for you.   Temporary needs invariably arise if their current staff are ill or taking annual leave (short-term) or if they have a backlog of work or new projects to complete (long-term).  When our clients call, we will send the person that ticks the most boxes, from both an experience and work culture perspective.  It is imperative we get the fit right to ensure a successful placement (we wouldn’t be doing our job otherwise!)

So what are the benefits for the candidate?

Where do I start, the benefits are endless!  How about the exposure you will receive to different industries.  Your transferrable skills could result in a placement within an industry that you would never have previously entertained.  And you might love it! Additionally you could pick up a new skill-set from this experience.  Skills that could assist you when applying for other jobs.

What about the benefits of BEING PAID!  This one is a no-brainer really and particularly good if you are the person that has just returned from overseas with a maxed-out credit card.  Casual hourly rates are generally a little higher too.  Happy days!

What about the fact that temp jobs sometimes TURN INTO PERMANENT JOBS.  Wow, imagine that and both you and the client have had the luxury of ‘trying before you buy’.   How advantageous for both parties to gauge your performance in the role AND your fit within the team as well.  It will come as no surprise that temporary to permanent conversations are highly successful and account for a large percentage of our permanent placements.

Lastly, temping can go a long way to lifting confidence, especially if you’ve taken extended time out to have children.  Returning to the workforce can be a daunting experience, I recall it myself like it was yesterday, wondering if I could ever be of value to an organisation again.  I’m here to say you can!  Easing yourself back in through a short term temp assignment will help to reinstall your confidence.  Your skills don’t go away .. they just need a kick start.

What about the benefits of temping from the client’s perspective?

Our commitment to our clients is that we will present the very best candidates that we have met.  And what I mean by that is people with the right skills, right experience AND right cultural fit for their business.  If I'm being honest, the latter is the most important.  It's not about bums on seats here!  The fit is paramount and we will find candidates that will easily transition into your team.  

So what makes a great temp?

Number one.  COMMITMENT!  You need to have a fabulous work ethic and you must do what you say you will.  This is not a big ask, we simply expect you to do the right thing.  This is an opportunity for you after all.  And as I pointed out earlier, it could lead to a permanent position (time to be on your best behaviour, right?).  Here at Entrée, we do not apologise for having zero tolerance for candidates that pull out of assignments.  In fact, it rarely happens because we will read you the riot act prior to placing you.  How would you feel if someone pulled the pin prematurely on you? Let’s face it, it's a bad look and this town is too small.  Can you afford to burn your bridges? (probably not, especially when you don’t have a job).

If you can’t commit to the length of the assignment, be up front with your consultant.  It’s OK to say ‘no’, we can always wait for a short-term opportunity.  Early in my recruitment career (I'll admit, I was a tad green 8 years ago) a candidate called to inform me that she would be finishing up in her temp assignment that day .. 4 WEEKS EARLY.  When I asked her what part of our ‘commitment talk’ she didn’t understand, she dared to say ‘everybody knows that temping is only something you do until you get a permanent job’ .. umm, no .. incorrect answer, you have to be kidding me!  You won’t be surprised to hear that the candidate in question no longer gets offered opportunities through Entrée.

Number two.  RELIABILITY.  Just because you are temping doesn’t mean it's ok for you to call in sick on a Monday because you’ve partied too hard on the weekend. Or have a head ache .. or hay fever .. seriously. We have heard all of the excuses, some that I simply can not share in this forum.  Suffice to say that we are on to you and will not continue to offer you opportunities if you can’t be bothered showing up.  Valid sickness is warranted but be warned that we have been in the game long enough to know who's legit!

What will Entrée’s commitment be to you?

Continued, ongoing support.  We have placed you in a temp assignment and you have blown the client away with your attitude and efficiency! You have honoured the commitment and they ask for you back whenever they have another need. We have placed you in multiple roles over several years.  I have a temp working right now who has completed over 20 assignments on and off since 2002 .. she has actually been employed at Entrée longer than me!  Seriously, what impresses me most about this candidate is that we can send her ANYWHERE.  Yes, she has diverse skills, but she also comes with a positive attitude and a warm personality. She's head down, bum up, and she has NEVER called in sick, ever!

So that’s temping in a nutshell.  Great jobs opportunities, variety and the chance to meet new people, improved confidence and potential jobs offers. What's not to like?  So if you are available to work, have proven administration experience, great integrity and the ability to commit, then temping could be a viable option for you.