Career Report
September, 2012 — Issue 151


Turning a Temp Job Into a Permanent Position

As the economy continues its sluggish recovery and the job market remains challenging, increasing numbers of companies are meeting their employment needs with temporary workers. For job seekers — particularly those unemployed — not only can this option be a practical short-term solution, a temporary job may also lead to an opportunity for a permanent position.

In fact, of employers that planned to hire temporary workers in 2012, 35 percent said they eventually plan to make the roles permanent, according to a survey issued earlier this year by CareerBuilder and the American Staffing Association.

“Temporary jobs from staffing and recruiting firms are playing an increasingly important role in the economic recovery,” Eric Gilpin, president of CareerBuilder’s Staffing & Recruiting Group, stated in a article on the topic. “Our studies have pointed to a rise in these positions post-recession as companies address growing market needs. Employers are relying on temporary and contract workers to support leaner staffs, and in many cases will transition these workers to permanent roles.”

The benefits of taking on a temp job can also extend beyond the possibility of transitioning into full-time employment. If you’re unemployed, the article noted, a temp job could help you close the gap on your résumé, let you learn new skills, and provide opportunities to network with people in your industry.

“Candidates [who accept temporary jobs] will find good pay, flexibility, and opportunities to change careers, valuable skills training and a bridge to permanent employment,” said Richard Wahlquist, president and CEO of the American Staffing Association.

For workers interested in making a temporary job permanent, here are some tips from author Karen Burns from an article published by U.S. News & World Report:

Treat the temp job like a long job interview. Do your best work. Always be punctual, cheerful, enthusiastic, and conscientious. This is your chance to prove you’re a star.

Temp where you want to work. Not only will you be an obvious choice when the company thinks of hiring permanently, you’ll also hone the skills you’ll need in that full-time position.

Adopt the company’s culture. You want to show that you already work there (for real). If you look and act like a temp, employers are going to think of you as a temp.

Be a team player. Offer to work overtime if needed. Be willing to do tasks outside your job description. Make friends with the permanent workers.

Dress the part. Even though you’re a temp, you don’t need to look like one. If you dress as though you take yourself seriously, others will take you seriously.

Keep your résumé on hand. Make sure it’s up to date at all times, in both paper and electronic formats. You never know when someone may ask to see it.

Make sure your employer knows about your skills. A temp job can be quite specialized. Look for ways to let your employer and your co-workers know that you can do so much more.

Learn as much as you can about the company. Temps often aren’t given in-depth instruction. Make an effort to learn about the company’s products, services and market.

Meet people. A temp job is great networking venue. Make yourself visible. Get out and about and meet department heads, HR employees, and anyone else with influence.

Be a self-starter. Pay attention, take notes, and anticipate needs. Bosses appreciate and value people who can work without supervision.

Let them know you’re interested in permanent work. A company may assume you’re happy as a temp. From time to time talk with supervisors about your goals and let your staffing agency know you’re interested in a full-time position. The agency has a good relationship with the company or you wouldn’t be there; the agency can be a strong advocate for you.

Make yourself indispensable. This is the key. The way to turn a temp assignment into a permanent job is to exceed expectations. Make yourself an employee the company can’t live without. If you’re such a stellar worker that employers start to “need” you, you’ll be on your way to a permanent paycheck.

News from BLK

As the weather cools down and summer comes to an end, Berman Larson Kane is moving full speed ahead with our migration to a complete cloud platform. In the past weeks we have moved ahead with phase two of this project, which entailed moving our database software over to the cloud. While there are still some adjustments to be made, we are pleased with the flexibility this has given our staff and the added value it will bring to both our clients and our candidates.

Bob Larson’s scheduled speaking engagement at this year’s annual NAPS conference is scheduled for September 20th. This year’s session, entitled “Talent Acquisition Lessons Learned on the Yoga Mat”, will combine the knowledge of his 35 years in Talent Acquisition with the philosophies learned through his 12 years on the Yoga Mat.