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Sifting through the online want ads and various job applications can be complicated. While there are many important factors to consider, it’s paramount to understand what type of employment opportunity is being offered and how that affects the position.

Generally, there are four types of employment opportunities, and they all differ in key areas. For example, the duration of the employment and who will pay the employee’s salary are just two of the vital factors determined by the employment offer. Below, you’ll find a guide to help you define the different types of employment agreements and target which type is right for you.

Types of Employment

Temporary Position

Temporary positions vary in range with no expectation that the position will become permanent, or benefits will be offered. Temp positions are generally flexible, with the ability to extend past the projected end date. In rare cases, these positions can develop into permanent employment. These opportunities are ideal for someone looking to get a feel for a vocation or to acquire relevant work experience. A temporary employer is generally considered an employee of the staffing agency, and the salary is paid by the agency.

Contract Position

Contract positions are generally not permanent and have a specific time frame for employment. The length of the contract can be based on a set amount of time or the duration of a project. When the contract ends, the employee is free to seek other opportunities. This type of employment is ideal for someone who likes to frequently change responsibilities or locations.

Contract to Direct Employment

This is considered a “test before you invest” situation for the employer. This type of position gives the company the flexibility to evaluate the individual before offering a permanent position. After a certain agreed-upon time, the company has the opportunity to hire the employee directly or to continue with the employee for the duration of the contract. This type of employee is employed by the staffing agency during the contract period or until the company decides to offer permanent employment.

Direct Hire Position

This is the most straightforward type of employment. This is a permanent, usually full-time position within a company without any time constraints or other parameters. Direct hire positions are available when the employer uses a staffing agency for recruiting purposes only. After the initial recruitment, the position is then managed solely by the employer.


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