Be Tempted: The Temp-to-Hire Recruiting Strategy Holds Steady

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Be Tempted.  The Temp-to-Hire Recruiting Strategy Holds Steady. 

A variety of challenges can be overcome by employing a hiring approach dating back almost 65 years – the temporary worker.  The length of time to recruit for an open position may not be a luxury you have or perhaps you are unsure of exactly what type of candidate is needed to fill your vacancy.  Whatever the situation, starting an employee in a temp-to-hire situation could possibly be in the best interests of your company.

If you haven’t considered it before, now is the time.  In the high unemployment era we find ourselves in, more and more candidates are turning to staffing agencies to find employment.  Consequently, even with the government layoff of thousands of temporary census workers, the overall percentage of temporary workers is holding steady according to the most recent Eye on the Economy article on

It isn’t just laborers and administrative professionals that are utilizing the services of staffing agencies in today’s job market.  Candidates range in backgrounds from Information Technology to Medical Personnel to Finance and Accounting.  There is a certain level of convenience for both parties, candidate and employer, in using a third party recruiting firm.  What makes hiring through a staffing agency so convenient?

The ease lies in the ability to evaluate the candidate, a free trial so to speak”, enabling an employer to see what kind of worker the candidate is.  Even if it turns out not to be the perfect fit for the current opening, you may be able to add this employee, and their particular skill set, to your list of bench candidates in the event a more suitable position becomes available.  In the very least, projects and other back log work can get done with the temp worker’s help while you spend time recruiting for a better fit.

Temporary workers obviously wouldn’t be on your benefits plan as would a permanent employee.  If the overall cost per hour isn’t exorbitantly high, in the short-term, having a temporary employee on staff may be more cost effective.  Also, despite opinions to the contrary, temp employees generally are very reliable and work hard as most are looking for an opportunity to become a full-time employee.  They can be available on short notice and are typically flexible as well, adding to the list of perks to this method of hiring.

Many temporary employees are fresh out of high school or college, still unsure of what they want to do with their lives or how they want to apply their education.  Working temporary assignments gives them the opportunity to find out what they enjoy and, conversely, despise.  Better to have them figure that out while temping than have a full-time employee that hates the position they are in.

On the flipside, hiring an employee from a staffing agency can come with an expensive commission fee, but the cost to advertise, recruit, and hire the position could possibly be more than the commission depending on the position.  As well, be sure you choose a reputable agency for your needs.  Some are notorious for placing a candidate then soon thereafter, recruiting them away again to another employer.

There are several other pros and cons to using placement firms; everyone seems to have a strong opinion on either side of the fence.  In the end, it’s up to you to determine your needs, but if your company is looking to save time and possibly a little money, temp-to-hire could be the solution you’re looking for.

Traci K. is an HR Professional and freelance writer based in the Midwest, specializing in recruitment and immigration.  When she’s not improving unemployment, she keeps busy with her husband and four children.

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