Maximizing Temp-To-Hire Arrangements

Understanding Temp-To-Hire Strategies

If done correctly, a temp-to-hire recruiting strategy can be a powerful tool for your business. In order to take full advantage of temp-to-hire relationships, and experience their unique benefits, you must first understand how they work. We want to share some insights on the fundamentals and some tips on things you can do to increase your success rate. 

As you onboard new associates your team will have a front row seat to evaluate the associate’s work ethic and overall skill set. In addition to an associate’s skills, your team will have the opportunity to evaluate a candidate’s soft skills and their ability to fit into the overall culture of your company. At it’s core, a temp-to-hire arrangement is a working interview that will give your company an in-depth look at the type of employee your candidate will become.

It is important to remember that temp-to-hire arrangements are a two-way street. While your business will have a front row seat, your candidates will as well. The initial contract period will give candidates a look into your company’s operation, types of growth opportunities, culture, & other employees. Candidates will use contract periods to learn more about your company and decide whether or not your company is somewhere they want to call home. We like to think of the contract period as the dating stage for both parties ? 

Kicking Off A Successful Relationship 

From day one, you want to ensure your temp-to-hire associates feel welcome. In the workplace, first impressions are critical and can dictate the overall direction of the relationship. As you onboard new temp-to-hire professionals you want to do everything you can to make them feel valued while also putting a plan in place that sets them up for success. Do not forget that this is a “trial” for both parties and it is your responsibility to create a workplace that will attract high-quality candidates. 

We have outlined some of our keys to successful temp-to-hire relationships: 

Where to Start on Day 1?
  • An employee’s first day can be extremely stressful and it is important that you make all new associates feel welcome. We recommend creating a “first day plan” that you can share with your staffing partner before an associates first day. Things we recommend including are: 
    • Where to park
    • Who to report too
    • What to expect 
    • Break room or locker notes? 
    • One page orientation reviewing a training plan
  • While this may seem simple, it presents a picture to new temp-to-hire associates that they are valued and you are excited to have them join your team. 
  • While some jobs seem easy and should not require much training, it is important that new associates feel “trained”. We have heard stories from candidates over the years where they were shown a short video and then expected to meet a daily quota. While there may not be anything wrong with this scenario, it presents a picture to new associates that their success is not important and the best training you can provide is a 15 minute, pre-recorded video. 
  • We recommend identifying trainers who new associates can shadow for their first week. During the first week they will have daily check in meetings to ensure they are comfortable and do not have questions about their position. After the first week we recommend moving to a weekly check-in. 
  • Investing this type of training for all new candidates will go a long way with the type of candidates your company is eager to attract
Provide Positive Feedback  
  • Encourage your trainers and managers to provide your temp-to-hire associates with feedback and be quick to offer positive feedback. When you start a new job you are always curious how you are performing, especially if it is a “contract” position. 

Tips To Increase Your Conversion Rate

Just like an employee you hire directly, it is important that you have an onboarding process for temp-to-hire associates. While some employees turn out to be a bad fit for one reason or another, your staffing partner wants to do everything they can to ensure temp-to-hire associates are converted successfully. Successful conversions are a win for all parties. 

Below we have listed a few tips that we have seen increase conversion rates and make a significant difference in associate morale. While these may not make a difference to some new hires, high-quality associates are looking for organizations that check all of their boxes. 

Convert Quickly
  • Many companies wait up to 6 months (double the typical conversion period) to convert a temp-to-hire associate. For an employee who is interested in a long term opportunity this can be extremely frustrating (especially if they see your team hiring new associates directly). 
  • Our team is extremely passionate about our clients converting temp-to-hire associates which is why we offer our clients extremely affordable terms and quicker conversion periods. We want to encourage our clients to convert as soon as they are ready. While this may cost us money up front, we are interested in building long term relationships that are fruitful for our clients, employees, & candidates. 
Be Honest & Transparent
  • From the beginning, communicate honest timelines with your staffing partner. If you know you plan to keep temp-to-hire associates as a contract employee for longer than their original term, you should be upfront. This will allow your staffing partner to communicate accurate timelines with candidates and ensure they are prepared before accepting the position. This will go a long way and give candidates a good first impression 
Boost Morale 
  • Converting employees early, or even on time, will boost the morale of your other temp-to-hire associates. This will paint a picture that your company is serious about offering long term opportunities and will keep your associates engaged. 
  • One of our clients, who has 15 temp-to-hire associates, offers a monthly “Employee of the Month” award just for their temporary associates. This has been a huge hit and has created competition between the associates. Deep down, associates know that if they are being honored with the EOM award they are close to becoming a full time member of the company’s team.
Everyone Wants to Feel Included
  • One of our distribution clients offers their full time employees a monthly attendance bonus. To ensure their temp-to-hire associates feel included, they offer the same bonus to them as well. This helps them feel apart of the team and allows them to begin to experience the types of benefits they will have once they are converted. 
  • Since your ultimate goal is to convert your temp-to-hire associates into full time members of your team, we recommend doing everything you can to help them feel included. Something as simple as a badge (that doesn’t say temp) can go a long way to helping them feel included.
  • If you have a holiday party or other celebration we recommend including temp-to-hire associates in the celebration. These are small, inexpensive gestures that go a long way.

Happy Hiring!

When executed properly, temp-to-hire arrangements can be an extremely effective recruiting tool for your business. Like any vendor relationship, it is important that you partner with a staffing vendor who not only has a good reputation, but who is honest with their candidates. Since your staffing partner will be in the trenches, selling your company to potential candidates, it is important that you believe in them and have faith in their processes. 

If you have any questions about selecting a staffing vendor we are here to help. We would be happy to include our selection playbook free of charge. Email me at