A growing number of companies and job-seekers are taking a temporary route to finding full-time employees and jobs. Temp-to-hire - or hiring after completion of a temporary assignment - is increasingly being used by job-seekers looking for full-time positions and companies that want to try out workers before making a decision whether to hire them, according to OI Global Partners, a leading human resources consulting firm.
Temp-to-hire has expanded beyond its traditional role in recruiting primarily administrative positions to include executive, managerial and entry-level posts in accounting and finance, information technology, medical, sales, legal and other professions.
A big reason why temp-to-hire has been steadily rising is because companies are reluctant to add full-time workers in an uncertain economy. More employers are requesting that job candidates work 3- to 6-month temporary assignments before determining whether to hire them full-time.
Temp-to-hire jobs are mainly available through staffing agencies. During the temporary period, workers are employees of the staffing agency, not the employer, and are paid by, hired and fired by the agency if they don't work out.
About 3 million people are now working for temporary services firms, or 3 percent of the total work force - an increase of almost 30% from 2010, according to data from the American Staffing Association. In addition, more companies are also offering temp-to-hire contract positions that can develop into full-time jobs.
"It's an extended job interview for both employers and job-seekers. Companies can decide whether workers have the right skills and fit their culture, and workers can gauge whether they want to join the employer on a full-time basis," said Patty Prosser, chair of OI Global Partners.
"We have been seeing more workers hired by employers full-time after successfully completing their temp-to-hire periods," Prosser added.
But, be aware that there are often no guarantees and no promises from the staffing agency or company that temp-to-hire employees will be hired full-time even if suitable openings arise during the period they are working.
"However, temp-to-hire jobs give workers an opportunity to get on board with a company that they may not otherwise be working for, prove themselves and show their value. Job-seekers can register with several temp-to-hire firms to boost their likelihood of being hired full-time. Temp-to-hire jobs can also round out long-term periods of unemployment by filling resume gaps and help keep your knowledge and skills fresh," Prosser said.
OI Global Partners offers the following tips on how temp-to-hire employees can improve their chances of being hired full-time:
1. Act as if you already are a full-time employee. "Don't go around the workplace thinking of yourself as only a temporary employee. Immediately after starting, treat the job as if it's a full-time position and go above and beyond the duties of each assignment. Demonstrate that you are a committed member of the team. The employer may begin to see you that way," said Prosser.
2. Aim to out-perform full-time employees who are doing the same or similar jobs as you. Learn the criteria that are used to evaluate performance and continually endeavor to impress.
3. Display your eagerness to learn and that you can pick things up quickly. "Don't only learn what's involved in your job, but gain an understanding of other areas that are related to it. This will help convey to the employer that you are interested in becoming a well-rounded worker," Prosser said.
4. Continually seek out ways to go above and beyond your duties. "Ask your boss for additional assignments and offer to help co-workers. Confirm that you have a strong work ethic," said Prosser.
5. Learn as much as you can about your employer. Familiarize yourself with the company's products, services, customers and culture. This will communicate that you are interested in being more than a temporary worker.
6. Become a member of the team. Meet as many key people in the organization as you can, including employees in other departments. Ask to be invited to or sit in on staff meetings.
7. Express your desire and enthusiasm to be hired as a full-time employee. Don't ask whether you will be hired full-time early in the temporary period. Instead, discuss this after you have established a track record for achievement and can detail specific contributions.
8. Expand your career network. Temp-to-hire jobs provide an excellent occasion for workers to network and meet other employees who may assist them in being hired full-time or can serve as referrals for jobs with other employers.