Glossary: HR & Recruiting Definitions
The term temporary work describes a short-term, temporary form of employment. Although this can technically refer to any form of temporary employment, in general, temporary work refers to work through a so-called temp agency.
This is a form of employment in which employed skilled workers ("temporary workers" or “temp workers”) are deployed on a loan basis in a company ("employee leasing"). Particularly in case of urgent staffing requirements, temporary employment can offer a practical solution for filling a vacancy quickly.
Temporary work (often shortened to temp work) refers to a form of employee leasing. A personnel service provider (an agency) leases out a skilled worker—or their know-how—to an external company that requires personnel immediately. This follows previously agreed terms and conditions and is normally for a fixed period of time.
All in all, temporary employment is the only form of employment in which three parties are involved. However, although the borrowed employee (the temporary worker) is employed in an external company, they are not automatically employed there as well.
The temporary worker initially signs their employment contract with the staffing agency and remains employed by the former throughout their assignment at the third-party company.
The temporary worker also receives their salary—after deducting some fees—from their actual employer (the temp agency).
The third-party company is responsible for onboarding and often for providing any material necessary to perform the job as well. However, issuing a certificate of employment for the assignment, is the responsibility of the staffing company.
Different countries will have different laws regarding how the parties work together. For example, in Germany all the important rights and obligations of the parties involved are laid down in the German Personnel Leasing Act (AÜG).
If the company no longer needs the temporary worker’s services, they will simply stop the collaboration. The temporary worker initially ends up back in the staffing company's talent pool until a new assignment is found for the employee. That is why temporary work is often also called staff leasing.
Yes. If both the temporary worker and the company enjoy the collaboration, the temporary worker can in some cases also be hired and permanently employed by the company.
Personnel leasing (in addition to direct staff placement) is therefore used in many companies as an instrument for personnel recruitment and is sometimes even part of the recruitment strategy.
The regulations on this differ per country.
For example, according to the German Temporary Employment Act (AÜG), the maximum period for which a temporary worker can be leased out cannot exceed 18 months. This means that temporary workers may be employed for a maximum of 1.5 years in one and the same (third-party) company.
If the maximum assignment period is exceeded, an employment contract between the third-party company and the temporary worker may automatically come into effect.
Temporary staffing is an important part of the labour market. This is because temp agencies cover a broad spectrum of workers with a wide range of skills and qualifications. Companies can find both unskilled workers and well-trained specialists.
Sometimes it happens that several team members in a company resign shortly after each other, take maternity leave, or leave for early retirement. Sometimes, a company can struggle with immediate staff shortages due to illness (e.g. Corona or flu).
Another reason can be that the company is scaling rapidly and the workload is causing overwork and burnout in the team… Long story short: There are many reasons that can cause an urgent need for personnel.
In such situations, a company needs new employees ASAP. However, searching via a job ad can take too much time. This is when HR managers can use temporary staffing to provide replacements at very short notice in order to defuse urgent situations and take the pressure off the team.
Of course, alternatively, you can use JOIN to attract talent faster and more efficiently.
In addition to short-term staffing options and a large talent pool, employers can expect other benefits—as well as a few drawbacks that recruiters should be aware of. We briefly outline both below.
Are you looking for an alternative to temporary workers? Then hiring a trainee or freelancer could be a good solution for you.
Simplify your hiring process and workflow
Understand how to create job ads that actually work. Leverage winning strategies to best promote ads. Find the ideal candidate faster.
Already have an account? Sign in
What is cultural fit? Learn more about the definition of cultural fit and what it means for the assessment of candidates during the interview process.
Find out what culture add is and how you can introduce this concept in your hiring process to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in your hiring methods.
Talent sourcing is the process of researching, generating, identifying, and building relationships with potential candidates.
Easily post your job ads to 10+ job boards
Find your next hire - for free!Get started