Our generation, our entire market has begun to see some light in the new dawn and there is a sweeping trend blowing some of the more traditional hiring methods into the past. One of these is the temporary staffing and contract to hire option being chosen by a number of growing industries. This isn’t to say strictly temporary work is being sought, in fact it may be a result of our economic detox that more and more employers are opting to use an agency and simply onboard a permanent employee over a temp-to-perm period of 3-6 months usually.
Temporary staffing is on the rise, with over “9,200 jobs added in May.” (Temp) As the economy is slowly progressing, there has been a sudden appreciation for temporary agencies. With this in mind, could Contract to hire simply be a sibling of this effect in this post apocalyptic marketplace of ours? What once was almost surely a way to try-before-you buy has now possibly become nothing more than an economical Human Resource layaway plan.
So, how do you keep candidates engaged when the word “temporary” or anything other than permanent? Should this be something to consider if you’re already unemployed or does it become more of an issue the closer a candidate gets to possibly being unemployed? That’s assuming they have the luxury of knowing if/when they will be let go. In an eerie way the same uncertainty can go into a candidate being unsure if they will have a permanent home should they choose the temporary option with potential for direct hire. Perhaps a lot of this anxiety can be put to rest because this alternative is nothing more than a new way for businesses to safely afford and screen the right talent, a hiring layaway plan if you will.
Many employers are now choosing to pay fees schedules over a 3-6 month time period allowing them to absorb the cost into two different quarters possibly and evaluate the work of the employee. This doesn’t have to equate to an employee feeling temporary, after all, aren’t most all of us “At Will” Employees? Almost everywhere an employer can sever the work relationship for no reason at all at any time.
As our minds open we always have to consider both sides of the coin and those should all be weighed. On the client side, by offering a contract-to-hire opportunity you will have to understand and respect that a candidate might continue to remain passively recruitable. If I’m working on a temp to hire basis, I might also feel like really scrutinizing the environment I’m in and perhaps placing value on smaller things that normally wouldn’t matter in a direct hire situation. A candidate might opt to think “this isn’t permanent anyway” and possibly nit pick until they find something else or get recruited. I’d hope the employer at this point would realize the importance of internal customer retention and service. Given the employees are talented enough to do the work, can enjoy doing the work, and can be equally enjoyable there needs to be balance.
This wouldn’t be a fair article if we also didn’t talk about the cons on the candidate side. For job seekers, it’s important not to pass up an opportunity because of the mindset that you won’t go perm. Employees might also not be holding themselves as accountable because of this mindset thus not creating job security for themselves. In this situation they risk having more jobs on their resumes than they might want, some job hopping can be explained with contracts but not a 4 page resume that only spans 6 to 10 years.
Bear in mind what this economy has done to everyone; business never wants to STOP growing it just has to sometimes. People don’t want to move around and not be in a permanent home but sometimes we have to. Now that we’re all slowly starting our engines, a little more modestly for most of us, the need to remain keenly aware that the same guns are pointing at everyone becomes obvious. Time and money really can be the same and neither can afford to be wasted. If employers invest equally in creating a welcoming and productive environment with appropriately distributed pressures, and employees remain sensitive and thoughtful while producing there might be more work and less worry. Worrying and working under fear only produces negative results. Could this argument really simply be about controlling your thoughts and attitudes? By remaining positive, weighing your options and remaining aware and accountable we welcome ourselves to a world of new opportunities period and not permanent or temp-to-perm opportunities.
Written by Dionna Cloonan, Recruiter
“Temp Jobs Raise 9,200 in May.” Staffing Industry Analysts. . (2012):. Web. <http://www.staffingindustry.com/Research-Publications/Daily-News/Temp-Jobs-Rise-by-9-200-in-May>.