As the economy begins to recover, more employers are hiring only contract or temporary workers as a way to keep costs under control.
That's because most companies don't offer temporary workers benefits, helping to greatly reduce their costs.
So what does that mean for someone seeking permanent employment? Will a temporary job be the only route to bringing home a paycheck?
No, says Tim Ozier, director of contract staffing at MRINetwork in Philadelphia, because only 1.5 percent of the workforce is considered contract or contingent workers. And even though he expects that number to rise to 5 percent, in line with the temporary-employment figures in Europe, contract workers won't dominate the employment landscape.
The days of temp workers being qualified for only low-paying, entry-level jobs is past, and workers who embrace the work may find they appreciate the flexibility and experience they gain, Ozier says. While information technology and engineering have a great demand for contract workers, other workers being hired on an as-needed basis include human resources, advertising and marketing.
"Companies are opening up all kinds of work in these areas," he says. "We've placed CIOs and COOs for eight months or longer with one company."
For those considering temp work, Ozier recommends:
- Staying connected. Online-networking sites such as LinkedIn are critical steps in letting others know of your availability for contract work and the skills you bring to the table. Attend industry events to let employers know of your expertise.
- Seeing temporary work as a logical step. Not only can temporary work keep a paycheck coming, but it also can lead to permanent employment. Ozier says employers may use a contract gig as a way to try out an employee. When employers hire a temp for a full-time position, they often offer a higher salary than if making an outside hire.
- Being vocal. Just as if you were applying for a full-time, permanent position, be specific about what you offer an employer as a contract worker. Cite cases where you helped an employer's bottom line.
- Looking forward. Some employers may hire you with a contract that can be extended or ended as planned. If you've worked with a recruiter to land the temporary gig, check in with the recruiter about a month before the end date to begin looking for another assignment, Ozier says.
- Knowing your worth. It's not unheard of for temporary workers to ask for a pay raise from the employer.
by Anita Bruzzese Gannett Feb. 22, 2011 12:15 PM
Temp work can lead to permanent position
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