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Temporary, contract and interim jobs – what’s the difference?

There is often some confusion over the difference between temporary, contract and interim jobs and although they are all non-permanent positions, they are used for very different purposes.
 
For many people, permanent roles can’t offer them the flexibility they require from their career so temporary, contract and interim jobs are the perfect solution. Many organisations see these professionals as an essential part of their operations, particularly if a business has a peak time of the year and needs the extra workers.
 
So what’s the difference between them?
 

Temporary

 
As a temporary worker, you may work through an agency, and be paid an hourly rate through them, rather than being directly employed by the company. It’s unlikely that you’ll receive the same benefits as your permanent counter-parts but the flexibility and convenience of temping suits some people more than traditional benefits.
Temping is also a great way of getting back into work after a period of unemployment. Many people looking for permanent employment will take a role on a temporary basis and get offered a permanent position by the organisation if the employer feels they need to keep the role on.
 

Contracting

 
Contractors are normally brought in for a special project, an extended absence or busy period where their niche expertise is required. You can still command a fair amount of flexibility as a contractor and, if your skills are in demand, you can afford to be a bit more selective in which jobs you take.
 
Contractors will often receive the same benefits as permanent employees and can be hired on a fixed-term basis or on a rolling contract, depending on the project they’re running or absence they’re covering.
 

Interim

 
Interim managers must be able to make an immediate and real impact to a department or project. Although temporary, they are experts in their fields and, unlike a contractor, they are usually brought in to manage a team or project and see a job through to its end.
 
As an interim executive, your expertise may be highly sought after, meaning salary is often high. Many people choose to follow this career path because they receive the wage and position of an executive role, but can remain flexible in their work pattern.
 
The fundamental difference between temporary, contract and interim jobs is the level at which they operate. Interim management is an executive level position, contracting is for professionals with a niche skill set and temping roles can range from assistant to manager level.
 
Browse our current opportunities for temporary, contract and interim jobs to kick-start your new career.