The rise of temp work proves no barrier to getting permanent roles: survey

Robert Half research confirms jobseekers who take on temporary work are not at a disadvantage when applying for permanent roles. Read more here.

  • 73% of hiring managers regard temporary work on a CV as the equivalent to permanent work experience, especially if the candidate is not perceived as a job hopper. 
  • 44% believe temporary work is an advantage if the role is in line with the current job criteria. 
  • Only 3% of hiring managers say a background of temporary roles can work against a candidate.

Today’s temporary workers can offer their employer a myriad of specialised skills with their range of work experience. Independent research commissioned by specialised recruitment company Robert Half confirms that jobseekers who take on temporary work should not be at a disadvantage when applying for permanent roles. 

For 73% of hiring managers, a background of temporary work is regarded as the equivalent to a permanent role though 49% add the proviso that the candidate should not present as a job hopper. Just under half (44%) of hiring managers say temporary work is an advantage if the assignment was in line with the sector/job criteria of the permanent role being offered, and more than one in five (21%) believe a CV that includes temporary assignments highlights the candidate’s flexibility. 

Just 3% of hiring managers say temp roles can suggest a jobseeker may not be capable of securing permanent employment. 

David Jones, Senior Managing Director at Robert Half Asia Pacific Jones said: “While a permanent position is the goal of many Australian jobseekers, candidates increasingly take on temporary work, consciously as well as until the right permanent role comes along. The flexibility of temporary work can be very appealing at various stages of a candidate’s career. For an employer, it can bring fresh vigour into the workplace, elevating the energy levels of existing members of staff.”

“Whatever the circumstances, this research supports the notion that a background of temporary assignments should not in any way disadvantage candidates when it comes down to securing a permanent position. On the contrary, it emphasises their breadth of experience and flexibility. That said, candidates need to also be mindful of taking on temporary roles that are supportive of their long term goals.”

“And for employers, this staffing structure enables the most efficient use of planning resources, cost efficiencies, and caters to those businesses with unexpected or temporary demands, such as projects or temporary replacements,” David Jones concluded.

Australian HR managers were asked: “How do you currently assess temporary work assignments referenced on a CV during the hiring process?” 

As the equivalent to a permanent candidate as long as the individual is not perceived as a job hopper 49%
As an advantage if the temporary assignment is in line with the sector and/or job criteria 44%
As the equivalent to a permanent role 24%
As an advantage since it demonstrates the flexibility of a candidate 21%
As a disadvantage as it demonstrates the candidate’s inability to find a permanent role 3%

Source: Independent survey commissioned by Robert Half among 100 Australian HR Managers – multiple answers allowed.   


About the research
The annual study is developed by Robert Half and conducted in April 2016 by an independent research firm, surveying 100 Australian HR managers. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.


Katherine Mills
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7757
E: [email protected]