Is there job security in temporary work?
Conventional wisdom would have us believe that, by nature, temporary work doesn't provide job stability. Intuitively, this makes sense — the logic is in its name. But surprisingly, in the current economic climate, there's a great degree of job security in temporary employment, just not in the way or for reasons you might expect. Let's explore why temporary work is remarkably stable:
Employers need to fill vacancies
With a current considerable labor shortage (owing to pandemic-related mass layoffs coupled with the Great Resignation) and a possible economic downturn on the way, many organizations are scrambling to fill vacancies. The need for skilled workers has arguably never been higher. Additionally, As ZenBusiness explains, organization management is increasingly favoring hiring employees on short-term contracts because of the financial benefits temporary work affords organizations, namely lower overhead expenses.
Even when labor shortages aren't a pervasive issue, organizations need temporary staff because there will invariably be permanent employees who need to take extended leaves of absence due to illness, parental leave or a plethora of other personal reasons. Combine this factor with employers' newfound preference for fixed-term contracts, temporary workers can be guaranteed that there's no scarcity of positions in their preferred field.
Flexible work is the future
McKinsey reveals that employees prefer temporary work, too. Over the past couple of years, the world has seen a rapid shift to remote and flexible working arrangements. Previously, employers would have scoffed at workers who favored adjustable working hours and/or locations and rejected their application without a second thought. However, now that flexible work is becoming the norm — and temporary work is usually inherently flexible — temporary workers can rest assured that there will always be an employer who's happy to hire them.
What you see is what you get
Often, employees signing on for full-time permanent work are nastily surprised by unexpected roles and duties because the longer they stay in their job, the more their job description changes. A primary benefit of temporary work is that when you conclude an agreement with an employer, owing to the short duration of employment, the functions you're expected to perform will largely remain the same. Additionally, you'll know exactly how long you're going to be working for an organization, so you can confidently plan your next steps after your agreed-upon time elapses.
Job security isn't just about how long you stay in a job, it's also about the financial compensation the position provides. As Elizabeth Kingston, CEO of Kingston Human Capital, writes, while temporary employment typically doesn't offer benefits like paid time off, health care packages and retirement annuities, salaries for temporary work tend to be higher than that of permanent positions. This is usually because short-term employment doesn't provide those additional perks. But it does mean that temporary workers can be certain that they'll earn well despite their short period of employment.