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Contract Workers Defined

Staffing agencies offer a broad array of services to their clients and candidates. The range of industries "temps" are placed in is ever broadening. So is the definition of a temp. Outlined below are definitions of some of the temping categories.

Contract Employees
Contract employees are hired to perform specific functions in a contractual relationship and for a defined period of time. Contract employees can be hired through staffing agencies or work as Independent Contractors.

The terms contract worker and temp worker are often used interchangeably. Temp workers hired through a staffing agency, for example, may be referred to as a contractor by some. Conversely, a contractor may be called a temp. Be sure that everyone understands his or her own status.

Temporary Employees
In the traditional use of the word, temporary employees are hired by staffing agencies and assignments are based on the needs of the company to access a specific skill set. This group is largely comprised of students, retirees, and parents. Assignment lengths vary widely. High turn over is common. These employees often move on to temp in different companies or industries, or to secure permanent employment.

Temp-to-Perm Employees
This group is similar to the temp category; they are seeking full-time positions within the companies/industries they are temping in. They take the opportunity to sell themselves to the client companies.

Professional Temps
These temps are the up and coming trend for professionals who "want out" of stressful, corporate positions. Temping increases flexibility in their personal and professional lives. They work when, how and where they want. Professional temps earn very competitive wages and perform high level, consultant-like tasks. These seasoned pros are in high demand because they can hit the ground running with little ramp up time required.

Source: Departments of Labor and Revenue

Why Temp?
One might wonder, with record low unemployment rates, why would people prefer temping to permanent positions? Temps choose this form of employment for varying reasons, depending on personal and professional objectives.

  • Flexibility of schedules
  • Allows time to finish education or pursue other interests
  • Free training opportunities - currently, 90% of staffing agencies offer training with no cost to the employee. Allows them to remain current on new technologies and applications
  • Ability to "earn while they learn" as they assimilate into their newly chosen industries
  • Enhances their resumes and skill sets
  • It's a good way into a permanent position
  • They like the variety and diversity of the jobs they are assigned
  • A good way to re-enter the job market