What is in a word? “Permanent” Jobs

by wpengine on October 24, 2013 in Staffing, Workforce


by Chris Burkhard, President

Did you ever work with a headhunter and listen to their choice of language regarding the work they do? “We are working on a permanent job with our client in IT.” or “I have a perm accounting job order.”

They are perm recruiters working perm or permanent jobs for their clients. When they talk about an open requisition, they take a “perm job order.” Generally speaking, I think every industry has taken on its own language of acronyms and current buzz words. However, I am not sure there is any language that is perhaps more damaging with its possible implication or interpretation.

Permanent-BadgeFor example, what is permanent today? Rarely do staff start in entry level jobs and retire at the end of their career with one company. I am not really even sure that 35 or 40 years qualifies as permanent. And temporary, well is really not as temporary or short-term as it used to be. Placers has had temps in the past that have worked at one customer for as many as twelve or thirteen years!

I don’t mean to be overly critical or edgey with the observations around the use of the word permanent, I just think we have to be careful about promising work to applicants that is permanent.  As we can say this job is forever and goes on and on. That is not what the world of work is all about today, is it?

I think work should just be a job. Contingent or full-time. Nothing else. Well maybe independent contractor. And oh yeah, 1099 corp. to corp is ok too. But what about consultant? Or third party employee? Truth is, this is all confusing. But work is getting more flexible, more varied, and certainly less fixed in nature.

Every time we reinforce the old world of work, it is harder for all of us to embrace the new world of work. Who really wants a job forever anyway? Not the company. And, I bet – not the applicant either!

One response to “What is in a word? “Permanent” Jobs”

  1. […] after at that company. You’ve also probably heard horror stories about people who left their permanent position for a C2H and got the short end of the stick. Or who took a job because a recruiter […]