In today's competitive job market, many employers want to take the time to find the ideal employee for each job. One way they do this is by offering temp-to-hire positions, also known as contract-to-hire positions. A temp-to-hire position is one in which an individual is hired for a temporary period (often about 3 - 6 months). At the end of this period, the employee is eligible for a full-time position. However, the employer can choose to dismiss the employee rather than offering her a full-time job.
A temp-to-hire job serves as an extended job interview; the employer can observe the employee and decide whether she is a good fit for the company, and the employee can also assess whether she would want to work at the company permanently.
Some people shy away from temp-to-hire jobs because they are risky; there is no guarantee that you will get a permanent job. However, temp-to-hire jobs are becoming more popular in a variety of industries and are often worth considering.
Tips for Making Your Temp Job Permanent
There are a number of things you can do to make sure your temporary job turns into a permanent one. Here are a few tips on how to ensure your temp-to-hire job ends in a hire.
Perform Like It's a Permanent Job
Mindset is everything in a temporary job. If you perform like you know you will only be there for a short while, you will only be there for a short while. From day one, you want to treat the job like it's a permanent one; that means always putting your best foot forward. Be sure to come to work on time (if not a little early), and stay as late as you need to complete your assignments with care. Going above and beyond with each assignment will demonstrate your commitment to and enthusiasm for the job.
Follow the Dress Code
You want your employer to know that you take this job seriously, and how you dress is one way to communicate your dedication. Figure out the dress code for employees at your level (either by observing coworkers or contacting your HR representative) and be sure never to dress more casual than that standard. However, you do not want to dress up much more than the dress code requires, either; you want to demonstrate that you can fit in seamlessly with the company culture.
Get to Know the Company
Some employers complain that temp-to-hire workers do not take the time to learn anything about the company. Learn as much as you can about the company to demonstrate your investment in the job. Know your company's history, its earning reports, its key clients, and its culture and mission. Demonstrating concern for the future of the company will let your employer know you are in it for the long haul.
Learn as Much as You Can
Demonstrate to your employer that you are eager to learn, and can learn quickly. Even if there is a task or skill that is only peripherally related to your position, you should take the time to learn it. This will show that you are interested in all aspects of the company. Of course, you should also never be afraid to ask questions. It is more important that you ask a question and learns something correctly than keep silent and get something wrong.
Get to know your co-workers immediately; chat with them during breaks or lunch to develop relationships. Make sure your coworkers can see your strong work ethic; when you can, offer to help your co-workers with projects. If you befriend your coworkers and convey to them your skills, it is more likely that they will fight for you to remain at the company permanently. Even if you are not hired permanently, you will have widened your professional network, and can potentially use your coworkers for referrals.
Be on the lookout for ways to go above and beyond. If you finish a task ahead of time, ask if there is something else you can do (or, better yet, come up with a task that you know would be useful, and offer to do it). Before leaving for the day, ask your boss if she has everything she needs for the day. These little things will demonstrate your value as an employee.
It will be hard to wait to find out if you will be offered a permanent position or not. However, you do not want to ask your boss whether or not you will be hired right away. Be patient; convey your interest in the job and company through your work ethic. Towards the end of the temporary period (most likely there will be a formal final interview in which you and your boss discuss your future at the company) convey your interest in the position and remind your boss of the ways in which you have been an asset to the company.