It used to be there were temporary positions and permanent positions, and once in a blue moon a scaredy-custard manager would ask if he or she could please do temp-to-perm. It reduced the number of people who would consider taking the position — as a quick rule of thumb you should NEVER leave a permanent job for a temp-to-perm. There’d have to be a REALLY good reason to risk it, like you’re independently wealthy and don’t need the regular paychecks coming in. So it wasn’t used as an employment tool too regularly.
But now, in 2015, we’ve still not quite recovered from 2008/2009…. Back to 5.6% unemployment in the U.S. but most of that seems to be in New York. Managers therefore still have a bigger pool to fish in for good unemployed candidates; they may be afraid of their own jobs if they make a hiring mistake; the budgets aren’t assigned as speedily as they once were; managers are able to flip flop what passes for their minds and get away with it….and so on… In other words, they can get away with temp-to-perm more frequently than they used to. Because, point is, there are far more temp-to-perm positions out there than there used to be pre-2009. For some of them it’s just for 1 – 3 months and that does indeed give the company, AND THE CANDIDATE, an extra safety net to figure out if it’s working. Let’s assume, shall we, that the company doesn’t intend to keep you temping forever, under the pretense of one-day-it’ll-go-perm, so they don’t have to pay healthcare or other benefits (Merit doesn’t have clients like that, I am delighted to tell you).
What’s a candidate to do to get them to put you on the permanent payroll? The quick answer is “Treat it like a permanent job”. I mean, I could end the blog here. Let’s soldier on, though, with the I-can’t-believe-they-did-that examples of candidates who’ve blown it.
The main biggie is to give the job your commitment and NOT be looking for other jobs while you’re temp-to-perming. The chances of your eventually being found out are pretty good; how often can you have family emergencies, colds, doctor’s appointments without its dawning on the company you’re interviewing? (Of course, permanent employees who want to leave the company do this as well, but stop arguing with me… we’re talking about YOU).
Work hard, join in their “Let’s all have pizza for lunch” days, do the requested overtime with a big “No PROBlem” smile on your face, show initiative, learn about the company and start to learn to care about the company. And if given lots of extra responsibilities because they’ve realized you’re awesome, then the only people you can ask for a bigger hourly rate is the staffing agency. If you didn’t come through an agency, then you’re out of luck till it’s time to negotiate the permanent salary.
Don’t be asking everyone, colleagues, manager, or HR, how long it was before they made the last person permanent, no-one likes a whinger. It’s a drag. You have to live with it for a couple of months till they make you perm and the benefits kick in. Welcome to corporate New York in the 21stCentury. But remember that temp-to-perm does give YOU the chance to decide if you really want the job, and it is what you expected. If it isn’t, then you can just tell the next employer your contract came to an end, you don’t have to come up with a fuzzy, “It wasn’t a good fit” story.