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The contract workforce

April 12, 2018 by Storm Crow

The contract workforce

A recent article by the Australian Government Dept. of Employment tells us that, of those applying for jobs, 64% have an undergraduate degree – meaning highly-skilled competition is fierce. Key characteristics employers are looking for in stand-out candidates include flexibility and adaptability. If you have these traits, you could use them to your advantage and face a tonne of opportunities in the future. Being flexible and adaptable could mean you head down the temporary 0r contract career path.

With survey results from HAYS recruitment reflecting that 23% of organisations in Australia currently employ temporary or contract staff on an ongoing basis, there’s a few things you may like to know if you’re considering one of these roles:

What’s involved?
Contract or temporary employees are usually brought in by companies to a) fill a skills gap within a department, b) help out with the heavy workload during peak periods, or c) cover a valuable employee on leave.

This relationship can be mutually beneficial. You can expect an assignment or project to work on, which may allow you to broaden your experience, pick up a new skill, expose you to a new industry, and as a result make you more employable in the future.

Popularity is rising
If you’re a current job seeker, you might have noticed more employers are offering jobs on a short-term contract or temporary basis, rather than long-term full-time roles. Currently 30-40% of Australia’s workforce are contract staff.

This owes partly to the attractiveness of a flexible workforce, where employees can be released at short notice during industry lulls without financial penalty to the employer. It also gives employers access to difficult-to-find technical or functional expertise needed for different projects.

It’s nothing new
These roles shouldn’t frighten you – they’re nothing new. You may have taken up part-time or casual work during your studies, so you can liken a contract/temporary role to this sort of situation. Sometimes you can get lucky and land a three or four day a week contract – allowing you to establish a healthy work-life balance. Who doesn’t love a long weekend?

The benefits are different
There is a level of risk with these positions; although you won’t be considered a “traditional” employee who receives benefits like holiday/sick pay or annual/person leave, you will no doubt be rewarded with higher hourly rates.

Remember, temporary or contract work is not limited to the domestic job market. These opportunities may allow you to get paid while you travel. GoinGlobal provides information on employment markets around the world.

It may help you network
Every placement in a new organisation will allow you to meet a diverse range of people, who may lead you to more work and a wider professional community. Any excuse to expand your professional network is a good excuse.

It’s not for everyone
These roles may test your resilience – not everyone is up for constant change and reduced job security. But, those who enjoy this lifestyle are eager to find the next project and can pick them up quickly. Using a recruitment agency may prove helpful along the way.

Do you have an ability to hit the ground running? Keen for a range of different experiences? Or can you offer a special skill-set that adds value? Then the temporary or contract workforce might be for you.

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