Fixed-Term Contracts: The right step for your career?

5 minutes

Permanent employment is great for stability, perks and benefits, career progression etc. Con...

Permanent employment is great for stability, perks and benefits, career progression etc. Contract/freelance work is great for flexibility, high hourly/day rates and honing your expert skills. But no one seems to talk much about the middle ground … Fixed-Term Contracts.

Fixed-Term contracts (FTCs) involve a time-specific period of employment (ending on a particular date or on completion of a specific task) and involve a contract held directly with the organisation hiring you, rather than through an agency or your own limited company. Examples could include providing cover for someone on parental/maternity leave, being brought on for a specific Workday® project, or seasonal hiring.

So, is a fixed-term contract the right thing for you? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons, so you can make the right decision…

Advantages of fixed-term contracts

Consider it a stepping stone

Have you been in permanent employment for a while, and thinking about making the move to freelance or contract work? A fixed-term contract is the perfect way to test the waters and see if contracting really is for you. You’re not at as much risk of the contract ending unexpectedly as you are with freelance work, as your contract with the organisation should have a firm end-date to work towards.

Remember, if you build a relationship with the right Workday Recruitment Specialist, they’ll be aware of when your FTC is ending, and can start sourcing the next opportunity for you in plenty of time, whether that be contract or permanent.

Try before you buy

Making a permanent employment commitment to an organisation can be daunting. An FTC is a great way for you to go into an organisation and see whether the culture, team and Workday® set-up is right for you. If it is, and you’ve performed at the expected level, you’re likely to be offered a permanent spot. If it’s not, then no harm done, you haven’t wasted much time and you can look for an organisation that is a better fit for you.

Make an impact!

If you’ve been offered an FTC to cover somebody else on leave for a specific period, then this is your chance to really make an impact. 

If the organisation is looking to cover someone on leave, you know the role is important to them, so you have the chance to get stuck in straight away and show them what you’ve got. In return, you should feel valued within this integral role, and it’s a great way to gain experience and connections in the Workday® space.

Fit work around your life, not life around your work

Sometimes, we get thrown curve balls. If you know you’ve got a life deadline coming up, such as a relocation, a FTC could keep you in employment until you reach that deadline, without the expectation of a long-term commitment from you.

Alternatively, maybe you have relocated already or your situation has changed – taking on a FTC can be a great way to learn the Workday® landscape in a new area, or to see what kind of employment will fit your new life situation, without the level of commitment that a permanent role requires from you.

Disadvantages of fixed-term contracts


Although FTCs aren’t quite as risky as taking on a daily or hourly contract, they’re still not as secure as a permanent role. You have certain rights as a fixed-term employee, such as a minimum notice period if the organisation wants to terminate the contract, but this will not be as long as it would be if you were in a permanent role and have completed your probation. You need to weigh up whether your priority right now is stability and longevity in your employment, and if that’s the case, go for a permanent role.

The way to counteract this is to make sure you’re making the right connections to find new work quickly, or line something up in time for the end of your FTC (assuming the organisation don’t offer you permanent employment). A Workday Recruitment Specialist will be able to help with this.

Situational factors

One of the hallmarks of an FTC is that it is situational. As a situation arises that requires an organisation to hire someone on a FTC, the same fluidity can apply to your role once you’re there. Just be aware that, as mentioned above, you may only be given a week’s notice that your contract is being terminated, and that you are just as much at the mercy of situational factors as the organisation is.

Perks and Benefits

You should receive more perks and benefits on a FTC with an organisation compared to being on a freelance contract. However, companies can withhold certain perks for temporary employees if they have a good enough business reason to do so. Just remember, your package is not likely to be as good as it would if you were in permanent employment.

Training and Development

If you’re in a FTC, the organisation is not likely to invest a lot of time or money into your training or development. You have been hired for a specific Workday® role for a limited time-period, so a lot of organisations wouldn’t want to pull you away from your tasks. If you know that training and development is a priority for you, you’re more likely to find this in permanent employment.

This list is not exhaustive, and there are other advantages and disadvantages you might need to consider based on your individual situation. But remember, organisations loathe letting good people walk out the door, so if you perform well during your FTC, you’ll probably find an offer of permanent employment from that organisation is waiting for you. This isn’t a certain thing, however, and as mentioned above, situations change that can put constraints on a business, so it’s best to discuss the prospect of temp to perm opportunities before you sign on the dotted line.

Thinking about taking on a FTC? We can help!

Focus on WD are the world’s first global recruitment consultancy dedicated entirely to recruitment in the Workday® space. We know the ecosystem, we know recruitment, and we know our clients – you can rest assured that we’re in the best possible position to advise and coach you on the next step. Get in touch to start your journey.

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