Jeanine Hamilton is founder and president of Hire Partnership, a full-service staffing and workforce solutions firm serving Boston-area businesses.
You got the green light from management to start interviewing candidates for multiple full-time openings at your company. As you anticipate the time it will take to recruit and interview candidates for all of your open positions, you remember something your staffing agency partner told you: More companies are advertising jobs as “temp-to-hire.” In that situation, the new employee starts out as temporary worker and, if both parties find the situation is working out, the relationship can be made permanent. That scenario sounds like a win-win for both you and the job candidate. Right?
How do employers determine which route — temp-to-hire or direct-hire — to take when filling full-time positions? The answer involves weighing the cost-to-hire for both situations and knowing your capacity for risk and time.
Hiring with the temp-to-hire model allows both the employer and the employee to “try before they buy” to ensure both employee and employer know that they’ve found the right fit. Employers get to see that the employee has the right skill set for the role and the employee gets first-hand experience to understand whether the right company is right for them.
However, during the temporary work period, the candidate may continue to interview for other full-time, direct-hire positions. A possible down side is that some candidates who are looking for full-time work aren’t considering “temp-hire” jobs and may not respond to your recruiting efforts.
The direct hire model and shortened temp periods in the temp-to-hire model are becoming more popular as the economy continues to pick up and employees with certain skill sets are in high demand.
Companies don’t want to risk losing out on qualified candidates or letting critical positions go unfilled. Although it can be time-intensive to recruit, interview and onboard new hires, offering full-time status and benefits to new employees demonstrates your commitment to them and helps retain good employees over the long term.
Posting a position as a temp-to-hire opportunity means that you’ll be leveraging a third party, a staffing firm, to recruit candidates. The staffing firm will recruit and ultimately hire the candidate to work on your temporary assignment. They will also serve as a negotiating partner when you’re ready to offer a temporary employee a permanent position. Some employers also use staffing and recruiting firms for their direct-hire needs, too.
Determining whether to use a temp-to-hire or direct-hire method of hiring varies by the employer and by the job. It’s important to weigh all the factors when making your decision.
What has your experience been with temp-to-hire?