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On average, there are more than three million temporary and contract employees assigned by staffing agencies a week. A good majority of these workers prefer flexible work environments and openly choose to work in temporary positions due to the flexibility they provide a busy or demanding lifestyle. Temp-to-hire positions, however, are perfect for those looking for a more long-term opportunity, whether they need to find immediate placement or are actively auditioning for a future employer.

One-third of all temp workers are offered a permanent position by the end of their employ, while only two-thirds accept those offers, as they move into a salaried role with benefits, added responsibility, and a home they can enjoy.

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The Evidence

A temp-to-hire employee is usually recruited for a three-to-six-month period or longer, depending on role, project, budget, and/or industry. They often pose as a stand-in when our more long-term employees need to take some time away, whether on leave, out for a long vacation, absent due to illness or they have transitioned away from our company.

Temp-to-hire workers pose as a valuable asset to most companies that they serve. For obvious reasons, many strive to work harder and perform better than the direct hires already on staff. They save us thousands on the training, onboarding, and regretful hiring of employees that often misrepresent themselves during the hiring process — or those who have decided to leave just as quickly as they came.

Temp-to-hire employees aren’t expected to recommit after their contract ends. They tend to be more confident, more genuine, and less resistant to change. Quickly adapting to the corporate culture, internal teams, daily processes, and procedures, nine out of 10 temp-to-hire employees said staffing work made them more employable. In many cases, temp employees went on to experience bidding wars due to their work ethic, productivity, and quality of work.

If you’re not already implementing a temp-to-hire strategy, as part of your overall hiring process, you really should consider it. Here’s why…

Simply put — They save us valuable time and money

Staffing agencies provide us with an exclusive pool of already qualified and vetted individuals that have proven their worth time and time again. They have a reputation for excellence with previous employers, and their resume is essentially backed with glowing reviews that would otherwise hold others accountable for misrepresentation. Bad hires are often filtered out in advance and greater consideration is given to each candidate entering into our workforce.

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Employing a staffing agency to help us will cut down on the time spent recruiting, interviewing, and administering benefits. Because salary is often decided externally, we can focus on business and see how everything else goes later.

Training generally takes place while on the job. If we do decide to hire a temporary employee after their contract period has ended, the transition ends up being quite simple, as they are already onboarded, already trained, and already familiar with our business structure.

You get to avoid hiring the bad actors and clueless busybodies

There’s nothing worse than bringing someone into your fold, teaching them everything you know, and then setting them loose for your competition. This person may not have been skilled, knowledgeable, or even have common sense. But now they know your trade secrets and are valuable to your competition. If they’re not ethical or don’t think before they speak, millions can be at stake once they are set loose.

You’ve spent a ton of money on their recruitment and onboarding, chose them over somebody much better, and have now lost this candidate as they move on elsewhere.

You reduce the risk of welcoming bad hires, especially in what has now been considered a gig-based economy. We essentially test our temp workforce by throwing them into a real-world environment. We can evaluate their output, based on how they handle themselves in certain situations, their versatility in stressful environments, and their ability to take initiative towards getting the job done.

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We avoid wrongful termination and unemployment costs when we’ve made a mistake. Because they are technically contractors (although employed by the temp agency that sends them), they can quite quickly and more easily be replaced. Contracts can be terminated at any time and for any reason — saving your company the headache of getting rid of a bad hire or keeping them on because it’s just cheaper to do so.

You get to test drive your new hire

Give them time to test their commute, explore your company’s values and possibly stumble into the opportunity of a lifetime. This is about suitability for your company, whether this candidate is suitable for the role or not. He or she may fit perfectly within your company. But if they haven’t been put into the right place, how will you truly know?

Using a temp-to-hire strategy, you will be able to test-drive new hires without officially hiring them on first. You will be able to evaluate their abilities and see what they can bring to the table before making any big moves. This will allow you to be sure that this is someone you can see working with for the next few years. You will see how they interact with your teams, adapt to your corporate culture, and interface with your customer base.

You refrain from making a bad hire, and introductions are more natural. Provide a bit of flexibility, and you will hire the right candidate faster — under more favorable circumstances. Loyalty becomes a factor, as well as gratitude. You may have given someone a shot that you never would have otherwise — only to find out this person is simply irreplaceable.

We bring on hires that want to be there, as opposed to just wanting a job. And in exchange, we can build great employee relations from the start, increase retention, and lower turnover at the same time.

There’s no expectation for a long-term commitment

Because contract roles are only allocated for a short amount of time, there is no long-term commitment or expectation thereof. While many businesses decide to extend the contracts of temp-to-hire employees, even offering them full-time positions with the company, there is nothing set in stone that says they even need to stay in contact once the contract ends. Because of this, temp-to-hire strategies are perfect for projects, overhauls, and interim positions. The position may cease to exist once talent is no longer needed.

The Fiscal Rewards — There are both tax and employment benefits to hiring temp-to-hire workers

Hiring temp-to-hire workers helps us to minimize our hiring budgets while lowering our annual operating expenses. Employers are responsible for paying federal payroll taxes, unemployment taxes, and healthcare benefits. Some of our companies include paid time off, maternity leave paid sick days, and more. In this area, however, temp-to-hire workers are simply not our concern. We contract each worker through a temp agency, which then employs each worker directly.

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