Pros and cons of temping

Desk from above

To temp or not to temp

So what is temping?

If you’ve just graduated, you may be wondering ‘what now?’. If you’re not sure what you want to do next, need to top up the coffers or fancy trying out a job to see if it’s right for you, then temping could be the perfect option. Many recruitment agencies will run a “temp desk” where they will find the candidate a short-term work placement for a company that only require an extra employee on a short-term basis. You’ll be paid hourly and could be temping at the same company for anything from a few days to a few months.

How could this benefit me?

  • Contacts By taking the decision to temp, you will be registering at several recruitment agencies. These are all quality contacts who will be invaluable to know when you come to look for a permanent position. You will be a much more respected and trusted candidate in comparison to those who haven’t temped through the agency, as they know you are a capable offer to send to a client.
  • Exposure Through temping, you will get an insight to so many different company cultures and environments, and be able to work out what works well for your personality and what doesn’t. This might be something as simple as what side of the City you prefer to be in, or whether you like big or small offices, whether you prefer creative or more formal companies… you will learn a lot about yourself through experiencing different industries and office working styles. This exposure means you will be well equipped with the right information, meaning that you won’t make the wrong decision when you accept a permanent position elsewhere.
  • Flexible If you have a lot going on in your life – e.g. a house move, or a wedding, or caring for a relative – then temping can give you the flexibility to work and have time off in equal measure. You could temp for a few weeks, then take a week off. It is at your own discretion.
  • Possibility of Permanent Employment Temping for a company gives you the chance to show people what you are truly worth as an employee. After a period of temping, you may have shone bright enough that the employer cannot bear to see you go and may even offer you a permanent job role.
  • Skills Every placement will provide you with different skills and experiences that will benefit both your knowledge of the working world and also your CV. Taking a course might teach you a new skill, but experiencing the work first-hand is priceless.

So what’s the catch?

  • Financial reassurance Because you never know where your next temp booking is going to come from, you cannot rely on the income. Temping is not a great idea for those reliant on a steady income.
  • Salary/Hourly A temp rate may not always reflect what you are worth compared to if you were being paid a salary.
  • Flexibility to Interview This disadvantage depends on whether you are actively seeking a permanent position as well as wanting to temp. Temping may mean that you are a lot more limited on the times in which you are able to interview for permanent roles, which in certain cases might slightly slow down the search.

Temping is not for anyone and everyone but it can save you from having unexplained (unemployed) gaps in your CV and it can help you gain a LOT of exposure. Temping could just be the stepping stone you need to find yourself a permanent position.

Bain and Gray have a wonderful array of clients across a vast variety of industries who frequently have temping positions waiting to be filled. Our Temp team, Alice and Hetty, will be really happy to help and advise you on your temping journey.