Temporary Vs. Fixed-Term Contract: What Is The Difference?

Temporary Vs. Fixed-Term Contract: What Is The Difference?

If you are not in a position to take on a permanent employee for your business, but still need some additional PA or admin support, hiring a candidate on a short-term basis could be the answer. There are two common ways to do this, either by hiring a temporary candidate, or a candidate on a fixed-term contract. In this article, we look at the difference between temporary vs fixed-term contracts so you can understand what might be a better option for you.

What is A Temporary Contract?

A temporary candidate is employed by the recruitment agency you source them through and are on their payroll. The candidate is generally paid by the hour and receives their salary weekly in arrears. They will complete a timesheet at the end of each week they work, confirming their hours and break times.

A temporary contract gives you a huge amount of flexibility; you can have someone in place quickly and don’t need to confirm the length of the assignment. You can terminate the booking giving very little notice and can have a temp working only for certain days and times as required.

This does go both ways, however; a temporary candidate can also leave the booking without giving notice and this can be frustrating. However, a good agency should be aware of what else a candidate has going on and have ongoing relationships with temporary candidates who have worked for them previously with positive feedback and who therefore are much less likely to let you down.

Often temporary employees are hired to complete a specific task, such as providing extra manpower to tackle an administrative backlog or to cover reception while a permanent member of staff is off on sick leave, for example.

The cost of temping is something else to be considered. With holiday pay, national insurance, pension contribution and payroll costs added to every hour the candidate works, it is a more expensive option. This is why we usually encourage clients to only use temps for the short term and if a longer-term candidate is required, a contract should be a cheaper solution.

What is A Fixed Term Contract?

A fixed-term contract is an agreed period of time you will have a candidate working for you. This can be rolling from one month to the next or can cover a known period, often for an absence, for example, a maternity contract.

An employment contract gives you and the candidate a greater certainty of the length of the booking and therefore there tends to be more commitment from both parties. We often encourage clients to offer a completion bonus, especially for longer fixed-term employees, to try and encourage the candidate not to leave before the agreed end date. If there is a financial incentive, we find the candidate is more likely to commit to the end of the contract.

A contractor tends to be employed by the company they are employed through and therefore are applicable to benefits as if they were a permanent member of staff and typically, they would be on a one weeks’ notice but this can be longer.

Temporary Vs Fixed Term Contract

To summarise, the difference between a temporary vs fixed term contract:

  • A candidate on a temporary or fixed-term contract gives the employer much more flexibility than hiring a permanent member of the team.
  • A temp can be found at a moment's notice and the contract can be ended equally as quickly.
  • A fixed-term contract tends to be subject to a week’s notice so does offer both parties a little bit more security.
  • Candidates who will consider both of these types of contracts will be available immediately or available on short notice, so tend not to be in current permanent employment.
  • A lot of candidates will take short term roles alongside their search for a permanent position, so you must be aware that you could lose them if they find a better suited and more permanent position for themselves.
  • There are also candidates whose focus is only on temp or contract roles. For example, they are on a visa so are unable to commit to long-term employment or they are studying and want to work in their holidays so bookings for short periods suit them well.
  • Every candidate’s motivations will be different and by working with the right recruitment agency, they should be able to secure someone who meets all of your requirements.

Looking to Make a Temporary or Fixed Term Hire? Oriel Partners Can Assist You!

Whether you’re looking for a temp for short-term cover or looking to fill a fixed-term contract position, we’ll find you the ideal candidate. All individuals in our extensive temp agency network are skilled, versatile and ready to hit the ground running at short notice. Please get in touch and one of our consultants will be on hand to help.

Posted on Nov 15, 2021

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