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Go Temp-to-Perm to Find Your New Hire . . . But Do This First

Hire Using temp-to-perm

Go Temp-to-Perm to Find Your New Hire . . . But Do This First

This year 46% of companies plan to use temporary employees at some point in 2015. While many of them may truly only need short-term help for a spike in business (such as accounting firms during tax season), using a temp can also be a great way to assess a temp-to-perm opportunity – turning a seasonal or periodic worker into a long-term member of the team.

But how do you assess a potential new hire that is working for you through a staffing agency?

Hire Using temp-to-perm

Here are five tips to find out if that temporary solution should become a permanent relationship:

1. Determine if they want a permanent job.

Some people love working with a temp agency because of the autonomy it offers, the lack of commitment, and the flexible schedule. Those who are supporting themselves while enrolled in college, pursuing a vastly different career (such as acting or singing), or heading toward retirement may have no interest in a traditional role.

Before you presume that the person working for you is auditioning to become part of the team, have a candid conversation about their long-term goals. But 74% of temporary employees are looking for a permanent position, so chances are good that they will be interested in temp-to-perm situation.

2. Find out if they want a job with you . . .or just anybody.

Beware of people who eagerly agree that they would love to make a long-term commitment to you, when really, they are desperate to get anything they can. The market is still recovering and some people will feel that they can’t afford to be choosy. You don’t want someone to accept the job only to leave six months later when they get their dream role.

[bctt tweet=”Take the time to find someone who wants to be a part of your organization specifically, not just anywhere.”]

Ask them why they want the role, what about your company interests them, how they see the position fitting into their long-term career goals.

3. Get feedback from others.

Just as you would put a candidate through multiple rounds of interviews with a variety of potential colleagues and managers, so should you solicit opinions from those who currently or will work with your prospective new hire. While you may not want to prematurely broadcast that your temp could be a team member for the duration, you can certainly ask questions of those who are interacting with them regularly.

Find out about their work product, punctuality, attitude, enthusiasm and even untapped skill sets that aren’t being used in the immediate role (perhaps they speak a second language or have a degree in a related field). Consider setting up informal chats between future colleagues and your temp so they can get to know them better.

[bctt tweet=”Look for things like if this person aligns with the company’s core values.”]

4. Speak with their current boss — the temp agency.

One advantage of a temp-to-perm situation is that you can openly ask their current employer about their work history and performance feedback. With a traditional hire, employees may be reluctant to share their current boss’ details for fear of compromising their job.

But a temp agency that offers temp-to-perm solutions will not be put off by inquiries regarding their employees. But do be aware that most agencies require a fee for “conversions” from their agency to your books.

Still, it might be in their interest to help you get comfortable with a prospective employee. You can ask not only for their direct experience with them – perhaps during the hiring process, skill assessment tests, or training – but also for feedback from prior temp positions held.

5. When ready, be honest.

If you are seriously considering someone who is in a temp role to become a part of your organization, don’t play games. Be up front about your interest, communicate your concerns, and invite them to ask questions about the role and the company. Be clear about distinctions between the current role and a long time position.

For example, if they are strictly 9 to 5 as a temp, but you expect them to sometimes work to 6 or 7 when they are on the payroll, let them know before they accept an offer. If they will be moving to a supervisory position or taking on additional or different responsibilities, articulate your expectations during the conversation. This will make for a much smoother transition for both of you.

Be smart, think it through and you can anticipate a productive relationship.

A temp-to-perm solution can be the perfect mix of temporary help and an extended interview that becomes a permanent position. If you are clear about your needs and interest, and confirm that they are mutually motivated to join you company, you can find a great fit without taking on the risk of a long-term offer to an untested worker.

For more information on temporary hires, see our post entitled  Trial Period for Employees? Consider Temp-to-Perm.