What Does “Floater Job” Mean in a Job Description?

What Does “Floater Job” Mean in a Job Description?

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Entering the workforce can be both challenging and exciting. There are a wide variety of job vacancies you can apply for, including full-time, part-time, and freelancing positions. But what does it mean if you see ‘floater job’ in the job description?

A floater job is one in which the individual moves from one post to the next, all within the same company or organization. It’s an excellent position for those who enjoy springing from one role to the next to keep things fresh and broaden their knowledge. Floater jobs are not good for employees who like routine.

This article will briefly discuss floater jobs, why companies offer them and compare their pros and cons. Keep reading to learn more! 

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Reasons for Floater Jobs

Simply put, a floater job is when you, as an employee, don’t have a fixed position within a company or organization. Instead, you fill up gaps where there is a need and rotate around different departments. 

It is like a temp job but not precisely. But why would companies need floater jobs?

Actually, there are a few different reasons. 

For example, some companies can be short on staff at certain times per year (example: holidays, vacations, sick leaves, etc.)

As a floater, you would pick up the slack of the job description for all the positions you need to cover. Floaters who cover posts for a limited time are more focused on a specific aspect of the role to perform the required tasks, leaving meticulous details to the more seasoned employees in this position.

Additionally, in cases where people are out for short periods of time, it makes more sense and is cost-effective to have an employee already familiar with the company, and the other employees, be moved from one department to another to cover for whoever isn’t available.

Floaters can also be a link between departments. It may surprise you that a piece of information you picked up in customer service can be very beneficial in finance, for example.  

Pros and Cons of Floater Jobs

As with most things, there will always be an upside and a downside to having a floater job.

Pros

  • You learn about different departments all at once, which gives you a better understanding of the company.
  • You get more acquainted with everyone at the company.
  • You can be part of many work groups since you would get familiar with the type of work they do.
  • Going around different departments means a constant change of pace which keeps things new and fresh.
  • You might be required to perform tasks outside the office, which also expands your knowledge and experience.

Cons

  • Since you won’t stick around in one department for too long, the knowledge you learn can sometimes be superficial and insufficient.
  • Divided loyalties among staff can sometimes lead to workplace disputes.
  • You never delve deep enough into a position to grasp all its details.
  • It might get confusing and overwhelming for those who don’t like change. 
  • You will never have your own desk or workspace. 
  • Your paycheck might be unstable.

Types of Floaters

A floater can be someone who goes around different departments within the same branch or someone who has particular skills and covers the same position in various branches of the same company.  

After graduating from university, I worked at a center for three months. My title was Summer Relief: Assistant. My job was in customer service as I was covering for an employee on maternity leave. I was a floater because, at times, I would be rotated between different departments, picking up new skills. I was also temporarily assigned to another branch of the center to do similar work. 

Final Thoughts

A properly trained floater can significantly benefit a company. Despite the cons, as a floater, you learn so much and assist others. Besides learning more about your job, it also opens your eyes to different aspects of the work and helps familiarize you with different people. 

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