What’s it like to temp in New Zealand?

7 mins read
What's it like to temp in New Zealand
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If you have been keeping up to date with the insights shared by the Madison team over on our blog, you’ll know that we’re pretty big believers in the value of temping. In fact, temp work can be misunderstood due to several myths that exist in the market. For anyone that has worked in a temp assignment, or an employer that’s relied on temp staff, there’s a long list of benefits to this approach.

New Zealand, along with many other countries, are evolving their attitudes towards work, with the ‘gig economy’ for contractors and short-term work becoming more common and popular. For many people, the full-time permanent position may not suit where they are in their careers or their lifestyle in general. This can make temping very attractive.

We don’t just help place temp staff within our clients’ businesses. Madison also benefits from excellent temp staff. I talked to one of our temp superstars Jessica Williamson, who is working as a receptionist at Madison, to find out a bit more on what the experience is like.

How Jessica arrived at Madison

After working in a previous job for ten years before experiencing redundancy, Jessica wanted to make a career change but “knew I needed more skills on my CV”.

Jessica sought out Madison to help find a job that would help her do just that.

“The day after applying, I came into the Madison office for an interview with two different consultants”. The team discussed a few job opportunities, and when Jessica got home, she already had emails outlining the jobs discussed. But it was Madison as the employer that had the perfect role. “The day after meeting Madison, I got the job here! I know it’s not always that quick for everyone, but I was fortunate that things moved fast for me.”

 

What drew Jessica to temping?

“I really wanted to go temping because after so long in the same job, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life”, Jessica says. “I was looking for a job to keep me going and I thought temping would help me figure out the industry I’d most enjoy”.

Temping offers people within the NZ workforce opportunities to experience different companies, responsibilities, and industries every day. Jessica is one of many who chose this type of work for that reason. We don’t always know which path to take at every point in our career, and that’s okay.

 

Expectations vs. experience

Having not been a temp employee before her role at Madison, I was curious to know what the actual temping experience was like vs. her hopes of what it would be.

“It’s actually pretty similar to what I thought. No one treats me differently because I’m a ‘temp’, and I can see a path for future development within Madison”, Jessica says. “Although I did underestimate the type of role I’d be doing – I thought it might be a basic, repetitive role but it’s more exciting than I’d anticipated”.

Jessica’s experience with temp work mirrors that of many of our other candidates. There’s a common misconception that the requirement for temp staff by employers is reserved only for jobs that are tedious. The reality is far from that.

 

Jessica’s role as Receptionist

Joining as the Madison Receptionist, Jessica’s job is varied, interesting and people-focused. “My position is the Receptionist here at Madison – I book rooms, do the administration work, assist with board meetings, and make sure everything stays clean and tidy. The best part about my job is I get to meet people all the time. It’s a great position for me, sitting in the middle of the office so I get exposure to everything and everyone.  The people at Madison have been really welcoming.”

Temp roles, like reception, offer an opportunity to meet all sorts of people within an organisation, build relationships and learn about parts of the business that may present development opportunities. Reception specifically has the additional responsibility of greeting clients, candidates, and other visitors to the business.

 

New learnings in a new industry

Jessica came to Madison not having worked in the recruitment space before, sharing that “it’s been interesting to see how different industries work”, thanks to the broad range of fields Madison’s clients operate in.

“I’ve learnt so many new things; the phone system, the computer systems – and I’ve got really good at Outlook! I had spent a long time in customer service, so I’ve been able to use my skills and experience from that. It’s different though, talking to people about the job market.”

 

How Jessica is finding working as a temp

“I feel like I’ve been here for years! I feel at home. I’m still learning every day though, there’s new things that I’m picking up”, Jessica says.

The demands of reception at Madison means Jessica’s temp role has her working full days all week. “It’s great doing normal 8.30-5 / Monday – Friday. I get paid weekly, and I get all the same entitlements as perm staff like holidays and sick pay which was great at Easter time.”

“I’m really grateful for the opportunity, because I didn’t bring a lot of reception skills with me, so I’ve been able to pick up a lot of new things. It’s definitely also given me an opportunity to showcase my skills and capabilities in a role I didn’t necessarily have experience in.”

And perhaps the best endorsement any employer could ask for, Jessica is happy to report that “I’m able to be myself here.”

Looking ahead to the future

Temping is just the beginning of the next chapter of Jessica’s career. But it’s allowed her to be exposed to a new industry, learn new skills and enjoy many entitlements of a permanent staff member.

When I asked Jessica what her temping experience has meant for her long-term goals, she shared that perhaps her path has changed: “I was thinking about going into property when I first joined Madison but I knew I needed to get some more skills. So my plan was to get a temp role, learn everything I could and then take those skills with me. That’s changed now though.”

Jessica thinks perhaps she may have found her next calling thanks to this temp role at Madison. “Recruitment was a brand new industry for me but I enjoy it. I love the fast pace and the variety. I’m happy where I am – I can keep learning and developing.”

And we can’t wait to see what’s next for Jessica in her career journey!

 

Are you interested in temp work? Let’s chat.

Your next big career move might be through a temping role. If you’re based in the Auckland area, I’d love to discuss current opportunities.

Email: kate.godfrey@madison.co.nz

Phone: 09 303 4455

Or, if you’re based elsewhere in New Zealand, head over to our Contact page to send us an enquiry or contact your nearest Madison branch directly.

Kate Godfrey
Managing Consultant

A bit about me After graduating with a BA in Politics and European Studies, followed by a post-graduate degree in PR, my first job was with a business consultancy. This experience taught me…

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