View Full Version : Question about jobs advertised as temporary
Mar 8th, 2012, 03:45 AM
I'd say about half of jobs I've applied for in the past few years have been advertised as temporary positions. This is fine, usually because the jobs themselves are not something I could see myself doing forever anyways. So if the term comes up and we part ways, sometimes I feel like I'd be good with that.
During an interview for one of these positions, do I have to pretend to want this to be a permanent position, or is it OK to express that the temporary status of the job as advertised might be mutually agreeable? Meaning, could I say, "it's great that this is a temporary position because I was thinking of applying to grad school next fall!"
.. or are employers just dangling a carrot and expect more commitment in return than they are putting forth?
Mar 8th, 2012, 05:31 PM
First, before saying anything that might eliminate you from the hiring process, you should inquire with HR during the initial phone interview, that is well before the actual interview occurs, as to any possibility of permanency following the temp mandate if its not already stated in the job offer. If that is to be the case, then yes, they are sending a signal to candidates that they are looking for someone with more commitement. But if this temp mandate turns out to be a replacement for a maternity or sick leave, then stating that you are willing to commit in your work for a potentially permanent position will only make you less suitable for the position as it will clearly appear to them that you are just not getting the message. Ultimately you'll be eliminated from the hiring process as to them you could be potentially discouraged throughout the temp mandate. Also,once the expectations from both parties are clearly stated regarding the temp mandate, there is no need to mention your projects thereafter as this is completely irrelevent unless this would help you land the job by demonstrating your interest in the field, industry,etc.
Mar 8th, 2012, 05:40 PM
Good insight. I agree that clarification should be attained before a formal interview takes place, but that isn't always possible. Sometimes you get that clarification during the first interview, as the person booking the interview isn't usually prepared to answer questions about the nature of the job.
I guess the thing with many (I would say most) temporary mandates, is that their purpose is really just to hedge. They want to hire someone on a trial-run basis and possibly renegotiate once the contract has expired, based on the employee's performance, financial health of the company, and usefulness of the role when seen in action. The problem I have with this, is that I really don't mind leaving a job after a contract ends, but if they really are just hedging, then they are expecting me to somehow work at making myself indispensable during the term of the contract or find my own niche while working there.
But if I just want to do a job for a stretch of time, then leave on good terms, I don't feel like I should be disqualified if the job is advertised as temporary. I guess I feel like many employers are not being completely honest about their own self-interest when advertising these jobs, because what they mean by temporary, is really pushing responsibility on someone to work toward justifying a long-term role in the company and if you're not interested in at least trying to work toward that end, then they aren't interested in hiring you.
So the question is, if you see a temporary job and you're interested in temporary work there, do you fake a larger commitment than you're actually willing to give?