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Why Temp-to-Hire Could Be Your Workforce Solution

Temp-to-hire definition

Temporary workers are frequently employed by businesses to supplement the company’s workforce for a brief period of time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there has been a recent resurgence of temp jobs as employers seek to meet their staffing needs. Temp-to-hire may become a more common practice as temp jobs continue to surge across all industries.


What is temp-to-hire? In a temp-to-hire scenario, the employee is contracted to work for about 3 to 6 months and then offered a permanent position if they meet expectations. This can be a win-win scenario for both the employer and the employee, as both have the opportunity to evaluate if they’re a good fit for the company. Staffing agencies often facilitate this process by sourcing and prescreening candidates for the job. Businesses looking to fill positions quickly often use temp agencies to speed up the hiring process and manage employee contracts.


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What businesses commonly use temp-to-hire?

Historically, temp work positions were considered jobs with low wages and no benefits. Today, temporary staffing agencies are challenging that notion by connecting people with jobs in fields from janitorial services to engineering. With technology allowing more people to work from home, temp-to-hire positions are available globally. They offer businesses a large pool of workers to choose from and opportunities to increase diversity in the workplace.


Temp-to-hire isn’t limited to a particular industry. If your business has an immediate need to fill a position and is open to the idea of hiring a temp permanently, then temp-to-hire may be a viable staffing solution.


Pros and cons of temp-to-hire

There are many variables to consider before creating temp-to-hire jobs for your business. Start by weighing the pros and cons of temp-to-hire staffing.


Pro: You’ll fill positions faster

The primary goal of most temp agencies is to save you and your HR department valuable time and money searching for a candidate. These agencies have already scouted and screened applicants to ensure they meet the basic expectations of most companies. Many staffing agencies also specialize in temp-to-hire contracting, which can make the process of moving a temporary employee into a permanent position mostly painless.


Con: The temporary hire may not work out

Maybe they’re not a good fit for you, maybe you’re not a good fit for them. There are no guarantees that a temporary employee will stick around after the contract period is up. Although prescreening can confirm that basic qualifications are met, finding someone who’s the right fit for the job can be a much more complex process. A temp may not mesh well with other employees or may not be a match with the company’s mission.


Pro: There’s a trial period

The cost of advertising, setting up interviews and training new hires can add up quickly. When a candidate quits or is let go after only a few weeks, it can make the hiring process seem hopeless. Temp-to-hire staffing provides you with the opportunity to “try before you buy.” You’ll learn a lot more about a candidate over a period of months than you would during a 30-minute interview. The temp employee can also benefit by directly experiencing what it’s like to work for your company.


Con: You have limited time for training

There’s only some much you can teach someone in a few months. Although many agencies try their best to ensure temp workers have the fundamental skills for the job, some things can only be learned through experience. If you’re hiring for a job that requires a significant amount of onboarding or training, a temp-to-hire may not be a good fit.


Pro: You have access to a large pool of talent

All the resources of a temp agency are dedicated to recruitment. Their primary mission is to scout talent from all over the country, if not the world, year-round. Business owners and HR departments have other tasks to focus on beyond recruitment. By gaining access to a large pool of candidates, you can save valuable time and may have a better chance of finding someone who is a good fit.


Con: They might take that talent elsewhere

Company loyalty can be difficult to foster, especially when you only have a few months to do so. You may run into a situation where you’re ready to hire a temp, but they decide to hold out for something better. Temp employees are often talented individuals who use short-term assignments to find the ideal company to call home. A trial period not only gives you the opportunity to evaluate a temp worker, it also lets the worker assess your company.


Other considerations for temp-to-hire

Here are some additional questions you might ask yourself before considering temp-to-hire:


  • How immediate is my hiring need?
  • Can I promote or better utilize my current staff?
  • How will temp-to-hire impact my company culture?
  • What percentage of my workforce do I want temp workers to account for?
  • Do I want to handle temp-to-hire through my HR or an agency?

The length of time you’ve been in business, your current staffing practices and your future goals are other factors that should be taken into consideration before creating temp-to-hire positions. If you own a small business or start-up, temp-to-hire might offer an efficient way to build your employee base. Temp agencies may help lighten the load of your HR department by managing the responsibilities of recruitment, payroll and employee services. It’s also important to consider what impact temp-to-hire staffing might have on your current employees. Before making any major changes to your workforce, you may wish to consult your HR department, a professional agency or a staffing specialist.


Related: What is Structured Hiring and Recruiting?  

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