As part of our commitment to working closely with our locums we conduct an annual locum survey. In this blog we will focus on one aspect of that survey, why they want to work via an agency rather then going perm. Our locums chose temp working over permanent positions and their reasons are quite intriguing.
The most obvious point in working via an agency is rates of pay. Agency locums earn more than perm staff. But this higher pay comes with a price: no pay for holidays, no pay for sick days and shorter notice periods. So what is the point then?
For around a third of our locums the freedom of choosing where and for who they want to work is the most important reason to work via an agency. They are also able to avoid office politics, one of the most important issues when motivation falls, because they can change their environment more flexible than perm staff.
This flexibility also brings another advantage: agency locums have insights in multiple teams and work structures, are thus able to compare and learn quite quickly what works out. And what does not! Flexible, adaptable and experienced people like this are in high demand when it comes to leadership positions.
The big insecurity about locum work, "Will I be able to secure the next placement after my contract ends?", is a great challenge for us. We also continue to look for our locums for their next placement even when they are safely ensconced in their current one. It is good to have choices you can turn down! A lot of our locums like to have a couple of weeks off, before starting the next placement. Good communication around expectations and possibilities are key competencies for a successful locum- agency- relationship.
So, in conclusion, becoming an agency locum is a decision that needs to be made carefully. But working as a temp has actually quite a lot to offer!