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Why rejecting a temp CV could be the wrong decision

By Rob Muddiman, Manager at TPP Not for Profit

With one in three people having worked in a temporary position and with nearly half the workforce, 41% considering temporary employment according to REC’s latest research, then organisations could be missing out on potentially skilled candidates by dismissing a CV where the applicant has done a lot of temping.

Temporary workers are crucial for most businesses, but when temporary workers start looking for permanent roles, they often aren’t shortlisted. This month we look at reasons why hiring someone that has temped for most of their career could be a good move.

Valuable Skills

Some people believe that temporary workers work in unskilled jobs, but this is not always the case. Some agencies specialise in recruiting for temporary workers with specific skills set, such as accounting/bookkeeping temps. Often they need experience in using particular software, such as Sage and require staff with a very niche skill set and qualifications.


Some organisations feel that temporary workers can’t commit to long term roles and are unreliable; however REC’s research shows that there are many reasons why people proactively look for temporary roles.  Reasons include, not requiring the stability of long term work, commitments such as further study and childcare.

Gaps on a CV

Temporary work can result in ‘empty spaces’ in their CV, with periods of unemployment/ gaps where they didn’t have work. Unfortunately even if they are a good skilled temporary worker, they are not guaranteed constant work and it can be difficult looking for the next opportunity until your current contract comes to an end.

Instead of looking at the gaps, look at what experience they gained in their roles. As a result of working at lots of organisations they will have gained valuable experience, working with different people and often working with little training. They will have had experience of working with various systems/ software packages and may also have good ideas about helping your organisation streamline processes as a result.

References and notice periods

You have the opportunity to take up more references than someone that has been in a role for a long time, this can help make a decision as to whether to hire one candidate over another. Most temporary workers will have little notice periods, if any, where you could wait up to 3 months for some candidates  in a permanent role.

Temporary workers are generally proactive people that go out and get results and will be used to tackling tasks and getting on with work with little supervision, which could have huge rewards for your organisation and bring a wealth of valuable skills to your organisation.

If you require advice on shortlisting applicants then please contact TPP on 020 7198 6000 or visit our recruitment advice on our website.

Useful Links
Money crashers - Working for temp agencies
MSN - 6 reasons temp jobs can be awesome