A secondment is a temporary work placement of an employee to that in which they normally work. They can either be internal or external. They're internal when the work is within another area of the same organisation, and they're external when the employee transfers to another organization. This can be that he or she is temporarily assigned to another part of an organisation, a different employer within the same group or, in some cases, a different employer altogether (such as a client or business partner).
There are also companies that specialize in secondment they’re called secondment agency’s and that’s what we’re going to talk about. Working on secondment via an agency means that you are employed by them but you will be working for one or several clients. The agency pays your wages, places you with clients, pays you out in case of illness and - when necessary but hopefully not - will fire you as well. But you do your job, your day-to-day work, at the company that hires you: the client.
Pro’s and Con’s
When you work on secondment you’ll get payed a fixed salary every month, even when they do not have an assignment for you. The work is challenging, whether it is for a short or a longer period. This enables you to build work experience while enjoying the security of a fixed contract. Also the transition to a permanent position with one of your employers is an easy one because they already know you. As a starter, you can gain a wealth of work experience in different projects at different companies with different cultures. On the other hand, there are also disadvantages. Since you're always dealing with two parties, you should always tell vacation, illness, and household announcements twice. It will also happen that you are assigned to an assignment or at a company you don’t like. And something to take into account is traveling. You may be just around the corner for the first six months, but for the next six months you will spend three hours a day traveling. Flexibility is key for a seconded. You regularly change environment and colleagues, you have to travel a lot and you are always an outsider in a company.
Difference with employmentagency
A secondment company differs from an employment agency in that a secondment agency only employs people. Also a seconded employee often has a notice period in his contract, you cannot simply be fired and you have more job security than with a temporary worker. A seconded employee is also paid per month, and a temporary worker per hour. As a seconded person you often build a more sustainable working relationship with your client: after all, you often work together for at least six months.