How to Go from Temp to Full Time
May 11, 2010
Because finding full-time work has been particularly trying in this economy, many job seekers have taken part-time and temporary positions, hoping to get hired full time. For those looking to turn a temp assignment into a permanent job, consider these tips. While unemployment remains just under 10 percent, with more than 15.3 million people looking for jobs, temporary work continues to stand out as a bright spot, according to staffing firm Accountemps
Companies began converting staffers from temp to permanent positions in late December but "it picked up steam" in January and February, said [Rob Wilson, president of staffing firm Employco Group, a trend that other firms Adecco, Manpower, and Kelly Services have also seen. But while the hiring of permanent employees is a positive sign, experts say it's slower than in past recoveries... . "It's a little slower, but the pace is picking up," adds Mike Webster, executive vice president of Kelly Services. The sector that has seen the most temp jobs segue into permanent positions, experts say, is manufacturing.Under the headline Temporary Jobs Will Begin the Job Boom
- State your objective. Let your temp/staffing agency and the potential employer know you're ultimately looking for a full-time, permanent job. "If they understand that upfront, they may be able to place you in a role more likely to lead to that result," Accountemps says. "When a position warrants full-time status, businesses commonly look first to staff who have excelled in the role on an interim basis," according to Max Messmer, chair of Accountemps and author of Job Hunting For Dummies
- Understand the company culture. "Each company is unique, with their own set of values, codes of conduct and employment brand," Tom Egan, VP of talent acquisition at recruitment firm Veritude
- Show flexibility and initiative. "Once you're on the assignment, bring the same intensity to the temporary job you would to a full-time position," Accountemps recommends. "Adapt quickly to the organization's corporate culture and start contributing immediately." Take advantage of free training opportunities offered by the firm to help build your skills and the value you bring to employers. Actively participate in meetings, and be willing to take on work that may not seem to fall into your assigned role. "Remember, the more you contribute and the more projects or teams you are involved in, the more indispensable you become to your manager or the company and that's exactly the position you want to be in," the Boston Globe says.
- Maintain a genuinely positive attitude. "Approach every project with a positive outlook and prove that you can be a valuable addition," Katharine Hansen
- Adopt a team mentality. Think of yourself as part of the team, department wise and company wise. "Suggest ideas, but don't get carried away," Hansen advises. "Offer to help your colleagues with work, take the extra time to learn about your teammates and develop relationships," the Boston Globe suggests. "The more effort you make, the more people will get to know you and think of you for future openings." Also, show genuine concern for how the workplace runs and the future of the company. "If you aren't interested in the company, why should the company be interested in you?" career expert Nathan Newberger asks at WorkTree.com
- Advertise yourself. Network. "As you fight for that permanent position, the best advantage is to have people on your side," Newberger emphasizes. To that end, tap your professional network, the services of a staffing firm specializing in your field and key people at the client company. Get to know as many people as possible at the workplace, including those outside your department. "Temping is a terrific networking opportunity because you're rubbing elbows with all kinds of people who have the opportunity to see what a valuable employee you are," Hansen says.