The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

August 01, 2017

What to Look For When Transitioning an Employee from Temp to Perm


It’s very hard to find quality temp employees given the time constraints during the hiring process. Bearing this in mind, it’s even more difficult to find the right candidate you wish to keep on as a permanent member of the team. That’s not to say that it’s impossible to find a worthy temp candidate you wish to keep on. However, key characteristics need to be identified before transitioning the employee from temp to perm. 

1. Ability to Handle Pressure

Because the hiring process is usually accelerated given the need to fill a position quickly, temp employees are often thrown into the deep-end from Day 1 of placement. This allows an employer to assess their ability to handle pressure from the get-go. Furthermore, it gives you a chance to consider their eligibility for permanent candidacy immediately.

2. Fast Learner

The ability to handle pressure and learn quickly complement each other nicely; especially for a temp employee. When looking at transitioning said employee to permanence, it’s important to look at their ability to learn quickly because of the fast moving nature of the progression. A fast learner will be able to handle this swift move well and therefore in the future, be able to take on tasks that require them to apply newly found skills to what may or may not be unfamiliar.

3. Compatibility with the Team

Hiring a temp employee does not necessarily prioritize this need for said employee to be compatible with other staff. Often it is more important to see that they have the skills to begin immediately and get the job done for the contracted amount of time. Transitioning this employee to perm, however, will require that the employee is the perfect fit within the already-built team structure. Put simply, if this employee is not a sound fit with the office, it would be inappropriate to bring them on permanently.

4. Willingness to Stay and Grow

Furthermore, the employee should display a desire to stay and possibly even progress. Temp employees are often used to job-hopping and sometimes, however rarely, they enjoy the unpredictability and non-committal nature of the work. Therefore it is essential to dig deeper and recognize that the employee not only belongs in the team permanently but also that a drive and passion to do so is indeed present in their work and work ethic.

Ultimately, however, at Abacus we pride ourselves on the exceptional quality of our candidates, temp and perm alike. Account Manager, Kara Kilgallen, “Temporary employees are often unemployed or working in temporary positions due to reasons beyond their control.  A permanent role is the end goal for most candidates and a temporary position can be helpful to see if it’s a mutually beneficial fit for both the employer and the employee.” The above guide should work to make that transition as smooth as possible for both you the employer, and your staff and new employee.

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