Pros and Cons of Temp-to-Hire


Pros and Cons of Temp to HireThere has been a large uptick in temp or contract-to-hire positions over the last year or two. Companies and potential candidates alike view these positions very differently. When it comes to temp-to-hire positions, there are many things an employer needs to consider such as cost, productivity and the types of candidates they will attract. On the candidate side there are a number of considerations as well. Let’s take a quick look at a couple of the pluses and minuses of recruiting for a temp-to-hire:

 “Try before you buy”

An obvious and important advantage of going the temp-to-hire approach is the ability to “try before you buy.” The employer has the opportunity to evaluate the candidate over a certain period of time (typically between 3 and 6 months) before making a final determination on hiring the individual. Instead of projecting how someone would perform in the role or fit in with the company’s culture, as would be the case with direct hire or even contract roles, the employers can actually see this for themselves before making a decision.

During the contract period, an employer can get a good feel for the person’s work habits, communication skills, attention to detail, as well as their technical aptitude. When and if the time comes to convert the temp to an employee, you can reasonably expect you have made the right decision. By the same token, this also gives the candidate the opportunity to get a feel for the job and the company as well. It can be a huge waste of time and expense when a resource is hired, only to have them decide this isn’t the right opportunity for them and leave within the first year. Temp-to-hire insures the individual likes the position and the company before accepting permanent employment.

Limited candidate pool

Several drawbacks come to mind when considering a temp-to-hire position. First and foremost, this limits the candidate pool considerably. You will have a very difficult time enticing the sought after “passive candidate” as not many people are willing to risk leaving a permanent role for something that is not guaranteed. This causes the search to be mostly focused on those that are currently unemployed or that have been consulting and now want a permanent role. Certainly there are fine candidates out there that are in either of those situations, but why limit your search in such a way that anyone currently employed and passively looking would be turned off from the outset?

Many candidates have indicated a negative connotation with temp to hire positions. Think of all the candidates that were promised a permanent role after an evaluation period on a contract, only to have budgets dry up, the position be absorbed, etc. Most are not willing to try it again and have probably relayed their negative experience to others they know. There also appears to be a feeling out there that the “hire” aspect is just a ploy to lure in resources to help plow through short-term projects. Fair or unfair, that tends to be the perception and it’s tough to convince someone otherwise.

The bottom line is the battle for top talent is certainly real and employers should think long and hard before deciding what approach they will take in finding the right candidate for them. We have placed many candidates here at EDI Specialists on a temp-to-hire basis and many of our clients do prefer that approach. From my experience however, many more candidates are in play when the position is direct hire. I described above the obvious benefits of “trying before you buy.” At EDI Specialists, we offer a 90-day guarantee on all direct hire or permanent placements. Although it’s not exactly the same, it does alleviate some of the risk in hiring a direct hire candidate. Whichever route you decide to take, the goal will always be to find the best possible candidate for your position and your company, and rest assured that every time you work with EDI Specialists that is our goal as well.

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