Maxwell Stephens

Is temporary work the right option for you?

Working within the recruitment industry, candidates often voice concerns over whether taking a temporary position is the right career move for them. From our perspective there are certainly positives and negatives to temporary work for both employees and employers alike, and whether it’s the right decision or not is completely dependent upon individual circumstances and motivations for pursuing a temporary role. Here are just a few of the potential positives and negatives of temporary work…

Positives for Employees



Have you got a family? Do you care for someone? Or do you just like to travel Securing a temporary job may allow for the flexibility to maintain other commitments. For example, if child care is an issue during the school holidays, the flexibility of taking on a temporary role may allow for this family commitments to be maintained.

New opportunities


Temporary positions enable the opportunity to develop new skills and broaden an individuals CV. This expands a persons career opportunities which may subsequently lead to a permanent position or finding a particular area of expertise that suits them.

It is sometimes difficult to find the career path an individual wishes to take and really enjoy. Having the option of gaining experience in a number of different fields can be beneficial to find your calling.

Negatives for Employees

Lack of stability


Although for some, the flexibility of a temporary position may be appealing, the lack of stability for others may be an issue. Not knowing how long a temporary contract will be for could cause problems, particularly financially. In a temporary position, you don’t always know an end date for the termination of your contract when you take on the role, this lacks stability and security which can be difficult when bills need to be paid.



Moving from temporary role to temporary role may mean that the majority of a contract is someone being trained up for the role they have been hired to do. There is a possibility that the training given to a temporary employee may not be as well delivered as it would be if the person was hired for a permanent position. In addition, access to continuous professional development is much more restricted to a temporary employee compared to their permanent colleagues. For many interim workers, any professional development/qualification they wise to undertake will end up coming out of their own time and pocket!

Positives for Employers

Try before you buy


Not sure a candidate is quite right for a role? As an employer, recruiting someone to work in a temporary position can give you the time to evaluate the person without making the role permanent. This can be beneficial as both the employer and the employee can decide whether the role really suits their skills and attributes. If an employer feels the temporary employee is a good fit for the role, they may then be able to offer a permanent position to the employee after a certain period of time.

Certain roles may only be needed temporarily


A company may need a temporary employee for a ‘one off’ role due to the business requirements of the company only being a temporary one. For example, a project manager overseeing the building of infrastructure for a company is needed whilst the structure is being built to ensure the project is effectively and efficiently delivered. Once the infrastructure is built and all in working order, the requirements of the business for the project manager has been fulfilled.

It would not always be sustainable for all companies to have permanent positions for certain roles such as project managers as they may only require this sort of position every couple of years.

Negatives for Employers

Overall morale could be fractious


Having temporary employees may cause permanent candidates to worry about the security of their own positions. A  recurring rotation of temporary candidates may cause morale to become low as the team may not feel like a well integrated group due to it changing frequently. This therefore, may cause the workplace to be fractious.

As well as permanent members of the workplace potentially feeling pushed out, a temporary employee may be made to feel isolated as they may not be made to feel like part of the wider team. A low morale may lead to less productivity and cause all employees to care less about the work they produce.

Reliability of a temporary candidate


From an employer’s point of view, a temporary candidate may be deemed unreliable in comparison to a permanent employee. This may be due to a temporary employee not having the same level of care or the passion for a business’s outcome if they know they may not be there to see the benefits of their work long term.

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