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Looking for a job? Then consider a temporary assignment

Looking for a job? Then consider a temporary assignment.

64% of employers use temporary/contract staff;
18% said their use of temporary and contract staff will increase in the next 12 months.

Almost two thirds (64%) of employers in New Zealand say they use temporary or contract staff, and 18% expect their employment of such staff to increase over the next 12 months, according to the 2014 Hays Salary Guide.

Out now, the Guide shows that 47% of employers use temporary and contract staff for special projects or workloads, and a further 17% employ them on a regular ongoing basis.

And supporting evidence that the contingent workforce is growing across New Zealand, 18% said their use of temporary and contract staff will increase in the next 12 months.

“Candidates are gaining more confidence and acceptance of temporary roles, aided no doubt by the higher compensation package they offer,” says Jason Walker, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand.

“Employers meanwhile see temporary assignments as a long-term staffing solution that offers headcount flexibility, the ability to manage workload peaks, and an opportunity to hire in specialist help for projects or to cover leave,” he said. “In addition, this sector of the workforce is a valuable source of permanent hires and is a great way for both parties to evaluate a permanent arrangement.”

So if you are considering a temporary assignment, here is Hays’ advice to make sure your career benefits in this new world of work:

Representation: Contact a recruiting expert who understands the intricacies of your industry and who can represent you to potential employers. “Use an expert so you access the best of the temporary assignments available,” says Jason.

Communicate availability: Keep your recruitment consultant informed about your availability. “We assume you are available for assignments until you tell us otherwise,” says Jason. “It does not look professional for you or us if we endorse you for an employer’s temporary assignment only to discover you cannot complete it.”

Update your skills: Your best selling point as a temp is your skills base, so make sure your skills continue to develop. “Many agencies, including Hays, offer free training so explore these options to increase your employability,” says Jason.

First impressions: Like a job interview, arrive at least ten minutes early on the first day of your assignment. As Jason advises, “Walk tall and offer a smile and a firm handshake when being introduced. Look professional, act professionally and dress professionally.”

Preparation: Know who you are to report to, the tasks you’re likely to undertake and research the organisation concerned by visiting their website beforehand.

Professionalism: “We expect a high degree of professionalism at all times, as well as respect for the policies, procedures and culture of the company where you are working,” says Jason.

Task completion: If you’ve finished one task, don’t sit there with nothing to do! Go to your supervisor and ask for another task. “Be proactive and impress,” says Jason.

Ask questions if necessary: You don’t have to be an expert at everything! As Jason explains, “Yes temporary workers are hired for their experience and skills, but you are allowed to ask questions if you are not certain about a particular task.”

Etiquette: Don’t leave your mobile phone on or use the work telephone or email for any personal communications. Similarly, do not use your work time to get to know your new work colleagues. “You can connect with them on LinkedIn later,” says Jason.

Market yourself: Once you are in an assignment, you are in the best position to market yourself within that company. “Don't be afraid to look for further opportunities,” advises Jason. “If you can see opportunities but don't feel comfortable investigating, let your consultant know and we will make enquiries for you.”

Assignment extension: Most temporary assignments have a finish date, but these can often be extended.

Problems: If you have any problems, such as not liking the assignment, company, colleagues or location, tell your consultant immediately. As Jason says, “Don’t complain to your supervisor or new colleagues – no matter how trivial it may seem, talk to your consultant first.”

The Hays Salary Guide shows salary and recruiting trends for over 1,000 roles in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington. It is based on a survey of over 433 New Zealand employers as well as placements made by Hays.

Get your copy of the 2014 Hays Salary Guide by visiting, contacting your local Hays office or downloading The Hays Salary Guide 2014 iPhone app from iTunes.

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

- Ends -

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