The Difference Between a Contractor and a Temp

In the world of staffing, people often us the words “temp” and “contractor” interchangeably. But in our experience, there are some differences¬†between a contractor and a temp.

The word “temp” conjures up the old stereotype of the lower-paid worker provided by a staffing agency. Temps often fill in for employees on vacation or bridge the gap while a company replaces someone who has quit.

Companies also turn to temps for seasonal help, and they also use temps for spikes in production within manufacturing environments.

While there is certainly still a place for temps in the American workplace, companies are increasingly in need of another category of workers. This category consists of a flexible group of highly skilled workers with a technical or professional background.

Companies need these workers for specific periods of time for crucial projects and deadlines or to ramp up for spikes in business. In these situations, employers often turn to recruiters to find these more specialized candidates.

Contractor = more hiring flexibility

These workers don’t seem to fit the mold of the traditional “temp.” Therefore, organizations refer to them as contractors.

They should not, however, be confused with 1099 independent contractors. In this context, contractors are not self-employed like 1099 independent contractors. Instead, they are W-2 employees of a third party, such as a recruitment back office.

Unlike temps, who are typically blue collar or entry-level office (secretarial) workers, you can find contractors in nearly every industry and in positions leading all the way to high-end executives. Employers generally pay contractors more than temps and utilize contractors for longer periods of time.

For instance, the average contract length for a contractor employed by Top Echelon Contracting is nine months.

Difference Between Temps and Contractors

A contractor and a temp are similar, but they have different roles in today’s workforce. We are finding that the use of contractors is becoming more popular as companies seek more flexibility.

Are YOU ready to offer contract staffing solutions to your clients?

Then download our Quick-Start Guide to Contract Staffing. Or request a demo with one of our contract staffing specialists. You can can also call us at (888) 627-3678.

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