The pros and cons of temporary versus permanent recruitment

Looking for a job can take time, patience, preparation and more than a little leg work. But as a candidate with skills and experience to share, it’s always worth considering the world of temporary employment as well as applying for permanent positions.

At Zenith People, we know the benefits of both types of recruitment. We also know that the choice between the two can be confusing. That’s why we’ve taken the sting out of the tail and outlined both types of employment to make it easier for you to make your informed decision.

What is meant by temp and perm recruitment?

Temporary (or temp in the job world) recruitment refers to taking on employees for a pre-determined amount of time or to fulfil a specific project.

Permanent (or perm) employees have no specified end date for their employment and generally stay in the employ of the company until they’re fired, made redundant or move on to pastures new.

There are advantages and drawbacks of both types of employment so the path you take depends very much on your individual circumstances.

Benefits of temporary employment

Temporary work may suit your current situation – perhaps you’re simply looking for stop-gap work before you travel, move location or start the next step of your education. Flexibility is the key with temporary employment.

It also offers you the opportunity to try out several avenues of employment before deciding which path you’d like to follow in the longer term. Once that decision is made, temporary employment gives you the chance to get a feel for an employer, workplace or team before deciding whether they’re a good fit for you on a more permanent basis.

Do a great job in a temporary role and you stand a great chance of being offered a permanent position and stay on in the company.

Drawbacks of temporary employment

The biggest drawback of temporary employment is the lack of security. Whether you’re on a rolling contract or have an end date agreed from the very beginning, your employment will come to an end and you’ll have to find other employment elsewhere.

However, a strong relationship with a recruitment agency or two can really help when it comes to staying in work even after one temporary contract finishes. Prove yourself to be an effective and reliable temp and a good recruitment company will want to use you again and again.

Benefits of permanent recruitment

If you’re looking for stability over flexibility, the security of a permanent job allows you to settle in, take on more responsibility and really plan your career path without the worry of your next move hanging over you.

You’ll be signed up to pensions, sick pay benefits and will have full holiday entitlements as a permanent member of staff too.

Drawbacks of permanent recruitment

Signing a permanent contract with a new employer means you’ll lose the flexibility available to temporary employees. Moving employers takes longer as there will be notice periods to work and lots of paperwork to complete before you can move on.

Temporary versus freelancers

It’s a common misconception that freelancers are the same as temporary staff. They most certainly are not. Freelancers or independent contractors have their own businesses, use their own equipment and dictate the methods, locations and timescales of the work they carry out. As a temporary member staff you will work on your employer’s site with their equipment and follow their procedures.

Freelancers take care of their own pensions and tax bills while temporary staff will need to fill in the required employment forms and pay all the requisite employment taxes too. However, the employer or agency you are working through will be responsible for managing that through payroll, so it’s not too much of a headache.


Still confused about the best way to find employment or fill a job role? Contact the Zenith People team today and we’ll iron out all the confusion for you.