Permanent temporary or interim: different types of position under the microscope
Part-time job, freelance work, interim management – with the wide range of types of employment and positions, it's hard to keep an overview. Whether you’re being hired permanently or temporarily, what will be in your employment contract? You'll find the most important types of employment here.
Play it safe: the permanent position
A job is usually referred to as permanent when your employment contract is not limited to a certain amount of time – so is not of a temporary nature –, your working hours do not exceed more than 20 hours a week and your pay is defined in the employment contract. After your trial period, which usually lasts three months, notice periods as defined by the relevant local laws or those defined in the employment contract apply. Incidentally: these cannot be changed to the disadvantage of the employee. The law also usually states that your employer cannot terminate your contract without notice and good reason. Only “severe misconduct” gives your employer the right to end the contract without complying with the agreed notice period.
What are known as part-time jobs are often based in unlimited employment contracts, but here the working week is usually 20 hours or less. There can be many reasons for part-time work, such as more time for family, further training and education, or other side activities.
Limited employment contract and maternity cover
With temporary positions, employment ends, without any notice required, on a specific date or occasion. This type of employment is ideal to bridge the time between permanent jobs or to get some insights into an interesting company. If you fulfil your employer’s expectations, you may get the chance to be offered a permanent position.
You will also often find maternity covers among the job advertisements, which are limited to the maternity leave of a female employee. It’s important to know that the limit to the time is only effective if the exact date when employment ends is defined in the employment contract. Otherwise you have the right to claim a permanent position when the employee you are replacing returns from maternity leave.
Temporary jobs: the same employment contract – different jobs
With temporary jobs, you are usually permanently employed at a temp agency, which hires you out to another company in order to carry out tasks for a fixed period. An employment contract with the temporary employment agency regulates your rights and obligations. A temporary position will enable you to get to know different companies or new areas of work without you having to change employers – ideal if you want to get a new orientation or further qualifications. Some recruitment companies, like Robert Half, offer you a permanent employment contract with further training options by e-learning. Often the opportunity to be taken on at the company where you are working also arises.
Expertise for a limited time: project-related job offers and interim managers
Often companies need staff with specific expert knowledge for a limited time. These people help out in a project or lead a team, for example for the development of a software solution or the set-up of an invoicing system. Recruitment companies like Robert Half provide interim managers for this, in other words, freelance experts and managers who support the company on a project by project basis. The employer therefore uses the expert knowledge they need for this time period and the interim manager hired has the opportunity to engage in interesting tasks and new challenges.
In search of the tailor-made job offer
For a job that also suits you in terms of its actual content, you must read the job advertisement properly – interpreting the standardised language to figure out the qualifications they want. If you don’t find a permanent job straight away, don’t be disappointed. Weigh up whether a temporary contract might not be an opportunity for you or use the expertise of Robert Half: as an applicant, it is free of charge to find a company for you.