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Permanent or Temporary Recruitment: What’s Right for My Business?

Posted on 29th November 2019 by Parker Bridge

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Our clients often ask us what recruitment option is best for them: permanent or temporary? The answer will depend on many factors, such as the client’s situation, requirements, and budget, however, there are several core pros and cons to both types of recruitment. In this article, we discuss what these are so you can decide which recruitment type best fits your business’s needs.

Permanent Recruitment

Permanent recruitment is often engaged to fill a long-term and crucial vacancy for the business. It can provide important longevity to both the employee and the employer and is key to business growth. That said, it can be the most expensive form of recruitment because it can take time and resources to find the right person. It can also cause further expense to the business if a permanent hire does not work out and you decide to restart the recruitment process.



Unlike temporary recruitment, permanent roles do not have an end date. This job security is a core benefit that many candidates seek as it can also mean financial stability and long-term career prospects. If the right career advancement and paths are in place, permanent recruitment can lead to a higher sense of loyalty and staff retention.

Positive Culture

Permanent members of staff are far more likely to immerse themselves in the company’s culture and work towards protecting and improving it. Similar to job stability, this can lead to improvements in staff retention and engagement, and in turn, boost business performance whilst lowering overall recruitment expenses.


With the right training and career paths in place, permanent employees can help a business to grow. When new opportunities arise as a result of this growth, these people become ideal candidates and could potentially save the company both money and time having to source, hire and train someone new.


Time-consuming & Expensive

Permanent recruitment can be a time-consuming and expensive exercise. The time it takes to fill a permanent role will vary from business-to-business and managers will often have to divert valuable time if the employer does not have an internal HR department. Recruiting a permanent employee can also be hugely expensive if you make the wrong hire and need to restart your search.

How can I avoid this?

If you do not have an internal Human Resources department to advertise, screen, and assist with booking interviews, then engaging a specialist recruitment agency would be key. Whilst not every agency will have a free replacement guarantee if a permanent candidate does not work out, Parker Bridge has a 13-week guarantee on all permanent placements.


Employers and permanent employees are bound by an employment contract that they both sign which dictates obligations such as working hours, notice period, expectations and other terms and conditions of employment. This makes permanent recruitment significantly more rigid compared to the flexibility of temporary assignments.

How can I avoid this?

You may need to identify the needs of the role early in the process, i.e. whether there will be a requirement for flexibility or a need to periodically change working hours or project expectations. If there is, then a temporary employee may be better suited to your needs.

Slow Onboarding 

A new permanent employee can take more time to produce results than a temporary worker. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, your new hire may need to work out a four week or longer notice period before joining your company. This can cause problems if the previous employee has already left and your team is understaffed and overworked. Secondly, permanent employees can take weeks or more to go through training and learn new systems before becoming efficient in their role.

How can I avoid this?

If your team is currently under a lot of pressure and under-resourced but a new employee has a long notice period to complete before joining you, then engaging a temporary worker for a few weeks can be an ideal solution. When it comes to the employee’s first few weeks, ensuring your business has a well-developed and actionable onboarding programme that includes a structured training plan will be key to setting them up for success.

Temporary Recruitment

Temporary recruitment is an excellent method of acquiring short-term resources for your business or hard-to-find skills for a specific project. Businesses will often engage a temporary worker to cover a busy period or a contractor to help with an immediate but finite project. Temporary recruitment can award a business a great deal of flexibility and specialist skills but can also come with its own risks if not properly managed.



For employers who have fluctuating workloads, such as those in the services industries or businesses that are in high-growth mode, temporary recruitment can be an excellent way to quickly adjust workplace resources. Contingent employees can be brought in to cover absences from annual leave, maternity leave and unexpected sick days. In addition, temporary recruitment may also be sourced to temporarily boost resources for special projects or to respond to sudden spikes in demand.

Reduce Risk

Recruitment agencies with a dedicated temporary recruitment service, such as Parker Bridge, will often have a pool of immediately available professionals who have been pre-vetted. For instance, all our temporary employees go through visa/work permit verification, reference checks, skill and competency testing, qualification verification, and psychometric and personality profiling. This provides businesses with peace of mind that their temporary employees are capable individuals that fit their specific requirements and will hit the ground running.

Reduce Time

Whilst permanent recruitment can be slow, temporary roles are often filled within days of being registered. As mentioned above, a specialist recruitment agency will have a pool of experienced candidates ready to go. This means that all you would need to do is brief them and within a few hours you will have experienced professionals ready for consideration. 

Gain Specialist Skills

The contract market is highly lucrative and some of the most experienced, specialised and expert candidates move into contracting to gain more control over their careers. As a result, businesses will often need to engage a contractor for a short-term project to access hard to find skills or cutting-edge experience.



Temporary employees can often be difficult to keep engaged and motivated compared to permanent staff as they are less involved with the business’s goals and culture. Coupled with the fact that temporary contracts usually have short notice periods, employers could find themselves losing temporary talent earlier than expected.

How can I avoid this?

Encouraging your temporary employees to participate and become involved with the team and in social events whilst remembering to check in with them should help avoid this outcome. You should also identify if temporary employees are interested in going permanent with your business and formulate a plan for them to achieve this and keep them engaged.

Poor Team Fit

Employers tend to place less importance on culture fit and personality when recruiting for a temporary position as they are instead looking for specific skillsets. However, managers need to be mindful that it can only take one person to significantly alter a team’s dynamic and this can have an immediate impact on overall performance and engagement.

How can I avoid this?

If you treat every temporary hire as if they were a permanent employee by formally welcoming and introducing them to the team and encouraging a positive and open environment, the risk of a negatively altered dynamic within the workplace will be reduced. To further negate any potential cultural impact of a temporary worker, be sure to explain the workplace rules and ethos to help integrate them. Finally, make a note to periodically check in with both your permanent team and your temporary workers separately to monitor any potential impact on workplace culture.

Expensive if Left Unchecked

Temporary assignments and contractors are often considerably cheaper than a permanent alternative because the length of the engagement is limited. That said, if left unchecked, an assignment or contract that rolls over for longer than expected can cost the business more money than if a permanent employee was brought in from day one.

How can I avoid this?

If you don’t have adequate processes in place to track and manage your temporary assignments, then engaging a specialist recruitment agency would be extremely helpful. Parker Bridge would help in avoiding these unexpected costs as one of our Consultants will be in touch periodically throughout the assignment to check-in. This contact also includes just before the contract is due to end to establish whether you need an extension to the temporary engagement or a different kind of resource. If there are now grounds for a permanent resource after a temporary employee has been engaged, you could approach the temporary worker to ascertain whether they are interested in going permanent. If so, this can save time and money on hiring their permanent replacement.


There are ample benefits and challenges to both permanent and temporary recruitment. Deciding which type of recruitment to engage will depend on your specific requirements, urgency and budget and we here at Parker Bridge would be happy to advise you with this decision.

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