What is Temping & How do Temp Agencies Work?

Temping is short-term work done by a candidate who is employed through a recruitment agency, is on their payroll and is paid hourly for the work they provide. As a temp candidate, you are not committed to provide notice, and a client can also end the assignment at any time, so there is a huge amount of flexibility for both parties. A temporary candidate is often sourced at the last minute to cover a period of absence, sickness or leave and can be used to assist in a wide variety roles and levels.

In this article we explore what temping is, how temp agencies work and what the benefits of temping are for both a candidate and a client.

What is a temp job?

A temp job is a short-term period of employment, either to cover a contract or for a short period of time. The candidate in the assignment is paid per hour and is employed through a temporary agency that also covers the worker’s holiday pay, pension and national insurance contributions.

Learn the difference between temp roles and fixed-term contracts here.

How do temp agencies work?

Recruitment agencies are a great place to source work if you are looking to start earning money quickly through temping, or to fill a position in your company where you may need cover. Often a recruitment agency will have a pool of candidates whom they know are available immediately, many of whom would have worked for them previously.

Temp agencies pay their candidates weekly, and rates can vary depending on the level of the skill required for the assignment. Candidates who are temping will complete a timesheet every week, confirming the hours they worked and breaks they took, and will be paid through the recruitment company’s payroll.

The recruitment agency will want to ascertain from a client looking for a temporary candidate exactly what the role will entail and what team the role is in, as well as the ideal personality, education background, experience and skills required. With this information, the agency will go about trying to source the most suitable candidate. Some agencies will provide a couple of ideas to a client, and some will just introduce their most relevant option – this can often depend on how the client likes to work.

Recruitment agencies will usually reference check all the temporary candidates who work for them, and the agencies should be able to advise clients on market rates and the appropriate salary level to offer to ensure they are attracting the most suitable candidates.

At Oriel Partners, we endeavour to provide the same standard of service to our permanent clients and candidates as we do to our temporary clients and candidates, and we spend a long time getting to know both parties to ensure we can match them appropriately.

What are the benefits of temping?

Temping has many benefits.

Benefits to a company:

  • You can get a candidate at very short notice to provide cover.
  • The temporary candidate is employed via a recruitment agency, so they are not on your payroll and don’t add to headcount numbers.
  • You can terminate the booking very quickly if you no longer need the support.
  • A temp can help take the pressure off a permanent hire search, allowing you to have time to make a more informed decision.
  • You can use a temp to cover the period between one person leaving and the next one joining, meaning there is a level of continuous support and a smooth handover from one employee to the next.
  • A temp can provide support to a business without having to invest time in a thorough interview process.

Read more benefits of temporary work according to temp workers.

Benefits to a candidate:

  • A temp booking can be a great way to try out new industry sectors and gain valuable experience.
  • Temping can allow you to earn money quickly.
  • A temp assignment can be a great way to boost your CV.
  • Temping will enhance your personal network and could even lead to a permanent job, often without even having to attend an interview!
  • Temping is very flexible, allowing you to leave without giving notice should you decide to do something else or you receive a permanent job offer.
  • Temping can work well around other commitments – another business, children, studying, etc.
  • You should be able to temp whilst still looking for a permanent role, ensuring you don’t have any gap in employment.

Article contributed by Oriel Partners

Oriel Partners is a boutique PA and administrative recruitment consultancy based in Central London. Our founders, Auria Heanley and Olivia Coughtrie, have over 30 years’ combined experience and have an extensive network and exceptional reputation. We source temporary, contract and permanent candidates, often on an exclusive basis.