There is no disputing that today’s employers are keen on temporary workers. New enthusiasm for this longstanding job segment has taken temp work, specifically Temp-to-Hire positions, from the fringes of the labor force and moved it front and center.  “More employers, for example, are laying down the mandate,” quotes a June article about the role of temporary jobs in the job market in the New York Post. “Job candidates must work temporary assignments before they will be considered for full-time jobs,” declares the piece.

Temp-to-Hire, unlike standard temp work, which usually ends when the work is completed (though temp jobs sometimes can lead to permanent hires) is an agreement between a staffing company and a hiring company that a field employee work as part of a trial period before being hired permanently. Once relegated to lower-level positions, Temp-to-Hire has become the launchpad to permanent positions across industries and at every skill level. Job seekers can find Temp-to-Hire jobs in almost every field, from administrative and executive to general labor.  A requisite temp period before being hired, reports the Post, is not just for entry-level jobs. And the advantages of this “try before you buy” approach, as it is often referred to, can provide real advantages for employers and employees in a recovering economy.

Blazing a Trail to the Permanent Job

Ask someone you know how they landed their current job, and don’t be surprised of they say they found it through a Temp-to-Hire opportunity.  Temporary workers are hired full time 50% of the time according to some reports, and if the job is specifically Temp-to-Hire, chances escalate.

During a Temp-to-Hire trial period, both the employee and the employer determine whether the jobs is the “right fit” and they consider establishing an employment relationship. When the time frame ends, the company can hire the employee without further obligations to the staffing company. According to Bonney Staffing Center, in a Temp-to-Hire situation, a company’s decision to hire a field employee can range from one day to several months or even longer. Bonney, an agency that fills Temporary, Temp-to-Hire, and Direct-Hire jobs throughout Northern New England, places Temp-to-Hire positions regularly, and has established relationships with local companies that have come to depend on them for good candidates who can round out their permanent staff.

There’s no question that Temp-to-Hire employees have an advantage when vying for a permanent position. They don’t just have a foot in the door, they are on the job day in and day out proving their worth. Temp-to-Hire employees also benefit by being able to get a feel for a company or a position before signing on permanently.  A job that seems perfect can often end up being a poor fit, and if that’s the case, employee and employer can part ways with no hard feelings. Temp-to-Hire jobs also have all of the advantages of temporary jobs, including the chance to build skills and fill work history voids, all while on the permanent job track.

Of course, Temp-to-Hire is work on contingency – there is no guarantee that a worker will be deemed fit for a company’s permanent position. Employees are encouraged to keep an open mind about future opportunities – some may even find a permanent position in the interim (don’t forget to give proper notice if that occurs). If you are considering a Temp-to-Hire job, it can be helpful to ask your staffing specialist what the track record is for hires at the company you are considering.

In a Temp-to-Hire Job? Here’s How To Make It Permanent

Not all temp positions end in a hire, but if the job description states “Temp-to-Hire,” permanent employment is a possible outcome. If you love your new job, make sure the feeling is mutual. Here’s how to make the transition to permanent employee at the end of your temp tenure.

  • Show your best self. Temp-to-Hire jobs are auditions for both employer and employee, and employers want you to prove yourself. Be reliable, stay late or come in early if need be, and make your case for being a stellar employee. Your commitment is an investment in your future job, and if you’re giving it your all, employers will want you on their team.
  • Don’t treat it like a temp job. Don’t adopt “it’s just temporary” attitude. Not investing in the long term is a sure-fire reason for an employer to show you the door when the time comes. Find out what it takes to be a permanent employee, show your investment, and express interest in being hired permanently. Act like you are part of the company, and you might be. 
  • Do something great. Temp-to-Hire jobs are great motivators for workers to make their mark. Even if you can’t change the world, take note of the value you’ve added during your term –processes you’ve made better, goals you’ve achieved, or relationships you’ve cultivated – it’s all ammunition for the permanent interview.
  • Fit in. Don’t underestimate the importance of fitting in. The truth is, an employee with the best permanent prospects isn’t just a sales wiz or the first to pull in the parking lot in the morning – they’re somebody who fits in with the company culture. They get along with co-workers, they pay attention to dress codes and behavior, and they do their best to blend in before they stand out. 
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