How to Make a Temp-to-Hire Job Permanent

Temp workers and full time workers in a meeting
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In today's 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 or temporary-to-permanent positions.

What is a Temporary-to-Hire Position?

temp-to-hire position is one in which an individual is hired for a temporary period, which could be days, weeks, or months. At the end of this period, the employee is eligible for a full-time position. However, the employer can opt not to keep the employee rather than offering them a full-time job.

Benefits of Temp-to-Hire Jobs

There are some benefits to being hired on a temporary basis, even though it might not be the permanent role you were seeking.

A temp-to-hire job serves as an extended job interview. The employer can observe the employee and decide whether they are a good fit for the company, and the employee can also assess whether they would want to work at the company permanently.

Some people avoid temp-to-hire jobs because there is no guarantee that you will get a permanent position. However, temp-to-hire jobs are becoming more popular in a variety of industries, including administrative work, light industrial or manufacturing jobs, and customer service positions, and are often worth considering as a stepping-stone to a new role.

How to Find a Temp-to-Hire Job

If you’re looking for this type of role, one of the best ways to get started is to use a temporary agency or a staffing agency to help place you at a company of interest.

Glassdoor reports that some of the top agencies for temporary jobs include Manpower, Robert Half, Express Employment Professionals, Randstad US, Adecco, Kelly, and Apple One.

For most companies, you can apply directly on the organization’s website.

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 that you will only be there for a short while, you may not be working there long. From day one, it's important to treat the job like it's a permanent one, and that means always putting your best foot forward.

Be sure to come to work on time (if not a little early), and stay late if you need to in order to complete your assignments on time.

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 attitude. Figure out the dress code for employees at your level either by asking before you start the job, observing coworkers, or contacting your human resources representative. Be sure never to dress more casually than the standard.

You don’t want to dress up much more than the dress code requires, either. It’s always important to demonstrate that you can fit in seamlessly with the company culture.

Get to Know the Company

Learn as much as you can about the company to demonstrate your investment in the job. Know your company's history, its earnings reports, its key clients, and its culture and mission.

Being knowledgeable about and demonstrating concern for the future of the company will let your employer know that you are in it for the long haul. You'll be able to find information on the company's website, by searching online, and by checking its social media pages.

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 could 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 to ask a question and learn how to do something correctly than it is to keep getting something wrong.

Build Relationships

Get to know your coworkers as soon as you can—take the time to chat with them during breaks or lunch to develop relationships. Make sure your coworkers can see your strong work ethic, and when time permits offer to help your colleagues with projects.

If you befriend your coworkers and they learn about your skills and abilities, they may be more likely to help you get that full-time role and 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 for jobs.

Take Initiative

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 they have everything they need for the day. These little things will demonstrate your value as an employee.

Be Patient

It will be hard to wait to find out if you will be offered a permanent position or not. However, it’s not a good idea 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 and accomplishments.

Toward the end of the temporary period (when there may be a formal final interview in which you and your boss discuss your future at the company), convey your interest in the permanent position, and remind your boss of the ways in which you have been an asset to the employer.