Temporary vs Permanent Employment: Which is Right for Your Role?

03 March 2021

Temporary Vs Permanent

​Hiring the right people is harder than it looks, especially for smaller businesses without the human resource capabilities of a large enterprise. Between deciding on a job title and description, knowing where to look and preparing for interviews, you’ll also need to decide whether to create a temporary or permanent role in your team. Here, we’ll cover the basic factors to consider when deciding between the two, and what they mean for your business.


It’s easy to assume a temporary worker is cheaper to hire given they aren’t entitled to the same benefits as a full timer, and they don’t stay as long. However, keep in mind that this is considered in wages for casual employees: you may pay them a slightly higher rate than permanents, generally making them less cost-effective the longer they work for you.

This is partly why employers will lean towards temporary hires for short-term vacancies, such as maternity leave covers or assistance with specific projects, while those with a long-term need prefer to secure a permanent worker.


Some businesses begin to rely on a revolving door of temporary workers without a good reason, and it doesn’t always get the best results. Aside from managing seasonal demand, specific contracts, staff absences and other short-term needs, consider if you could benefit from hiring a permanent employee who may establish a more lasting connection with your team. Staff retention can be a major strength for businesses, which is why many aim to nurture talent and promote internally to keep staff mentally engaged and working at the top of their game.


It’s always worth considering how job-ready your candidates will be when weighing up the pros and cons of temporary staff. If you can fill the vacancy and put them to work with little to no training, a temporary worker can be more productive in the limited time they are with your business. However, if they’ll need extensive training to be able to perform essential tasks correctly, think about the time and financial investment required. Roles with more intensive induction processes may only be worth it for staff who are staying with your team for the long haul.


Do you need someone to cover a busy period with irregular shift times, or will they be working a typical 9 to 5 role? Temporary workers are usually more flexible with working arrangements, and can often start immediately if they aren’t required to give notice to a former employer. If you do opt to hire a permanent employee, it’s more likely they will expect more consistent working hours and are therefore less suitable for businesses with fluctuating human resource needs.