Temporary Work as a Retention Strategy

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It might seem counter intuitive?  More temporary work is being offered as short-term contracts ranging in length from a few months to around 18 months as a retention strategy for some employees.  The contractor and project-based temporary workforce is responding to employer needs for staff who have specific skills and knowledge.  Employees can also develop expertise in a set of skills, be involved in particular projects or work for key employers to boost their resume and career.  A temporary contract is particularly popular in defence and mining industries and for major infrastructure projects in civil construction and rail.  The trend seems more towards a pool or group of people working together around a project and a specific contract rather than temping doing general kind of work.  These opportunities are very much around project-based expertise.  People tend of want that flexibility as well because it gives them experience in different areas.  Project management gives them different skills sets.  Temporary work allows employers to match their workforce to the projects that have on the go at any moment and ramp up projects quickly.  Some staff are juggling multiple projects or jobs and gaining work through word of mouth in their personal or professional networks, rather than being employed by a temping agency.  Temporary contracts also allow workers to have extended mini breaks between jobs which means they work hard and have limited work life balance during the life of the contract.  But it allows them extra time off between projects.  There are extra benefits rather than pay and employers are using temporary work as a retention strategy.

As interviewed by Cara Jenkin, CareerOne Editor and published in The Advertiser, CareerOne section on 30.10.10 p. 3

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