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Why are so many HR roles advertised today fixed term contracts instead of permanent?

I often get calls and emails on daily basis from Recruitment Consultants, but 9 times out of 10 the role is temporary as opposed to permanent, and it also seems when looking on LinkedIn that approximately half also are. They are also more difficult to fill as most people won't leave perm for temp, especially if they have a monthly mortgage to pay.  

My view on FTCs are mixed. On the one hand it can get people that first and all important break into the profession, but on the other you start getting used to earning and enjoying a monthly salary and then it is suddenly taken away from you, and unless you can immediately line up a new job, you often find you first port of call again Jobcentre Plus with a gap in your CV and no income for the next x amount of months. Even if your performance is outstanding, there are no guarantees that you can stay there, and you also won't see your colleagues gain who you may have built relationships with. A temp through an agency is also not one of the permanent staff team members, creating a two tier approach in that regard.     

Temping certainly has its pros and cons, but one key drawback is that to get another job quickly you go from temp to temp and hence get locked into the contract work cycle, so in five years time you have ten different roles on your CV, but never been able to settle in one place for several years. Rightly or wrongly, it can be perceived by employers as either job hopping or an inability to stay somewhere.         

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  • 2 words . . . insecure times !
  • In reply to Ginnie:

    Indeed Ginnie
    Uncertain needs legitimately call for ftc's as a solution. The alternative would be to offer an indefinite contract and dismiss for redundancy after the need ends, but with no redundancy rights. At least the ftc makes the situation clear from day one.
  • In reply to Ray:

    Also, I hear a lot from (self employed) Interim Managers that they are being asked more and more to commence on assignment with a Hirer on a fixed-term contract, rather than engaging the Interim on a self-employed basis. This is, as you can imagine not popular with Interims for a whole host of reasons. The feeling is there is a nervousness around IR35 and it is cleaner and easier to onboard this way.
  • And sometimes you have to back yourself by taking one of these as a development step. That opportunity to gain the experience at the next level up.

    What’s the old saying... if you always do what you have always done. You will always get what you always got.
  • I understand the logic of being honest in uncertain times even if it means fishing in a smaller pool. I am also sure that so many do it out of habit and because they think it is easier to do this and let someone go than to dismiss a poor recruit. This says a lot about employer confidence in their ability to recruit well and or to dismiss properly.
  • I moved from perm to fixed term on the theory that there is no such thing as a job for life any more. You could move to a perm job and still get let go, made redundant etc.
    1 of the reasons I have found there to be more FTC is maternity cover - there are lots of them in HR, and it's a good way to try out different industries, team sizes and roles.