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Growing your Workforce – the ‘Temp to Perm’ Route

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​There is a recurring theme I encounter when speaking to my clients; economic uncertainty is increasing the pressure to reduce costs, with hirers considering all options before investing and growing their workforce. 

Attracting and retaining skilled staff also remains a significant worry for UK businesses, this will be one of the most important drivers of growth over the next few years.

It leaves many employers in a conundrum; how do we balance the need to hire the requisite skill-sets vital for business growth against the risks associated with a permanent hire? Whilst many employers say they will invest if they can find the right person, they do not know how to improve their chances of hiring someone that will be successful and add value to them in the long term.

There is a simple way that can help employers to test the water and build confidence in their hiring decisions. Temp to perm is a route that businesses should consider, particularly when the vacant role is critical to business success. Many employers regularly use contract or temporary staff to cover peaks in workload or for short to medium-term projects, but perhaps haven’t considered temp to perm as part of a wider talent acquisition strategy. 

The norm for a candidate going temp to perm is to firstly undertake the role for a short temporary period. Should all go well, the temporary position will turn into a permanent role at the end of the assigned period, normally no more than 3 months. 

If either party becomes unhappy during the temporary period, it is much easier to part ways and quickly terminate the contract. It is also likely that during the temporary period, the candidate will be paid via a third party which saves both the administration burden for the employer and reduces the employment costs (such as paid vacation, paid sick leave or other paid time off, pension, medical and dental benefits).

In addition to this, there are a number of benefits to exploring temp to perm when employing new employees;

  • TIME SAVED: The right recruitment partner will have access to a broad network of relevant candidates, many of these can be available at short notice and are happy to work on a temp to perm basis

  • TRY BEFORE YOU BUY: This route will enable you to see what a candidate can offer to the business prior to you making any long-term commitment. You will also be able to see how they fit with your business culture

  • COMMITMENT: The knowledge of there being a temp to perm opportunity is a good way of ensuring that a candidate will treat the period as a probation period and can often ensure greater commitment to the role

  • REFERENCING: Candidates working on a temporary or contract basis will often come armed with references, speeding the turnaround of the recruitment process and removing the delay involved in obtaining references from previous employers

  • AVOIDING A RECRUITMENT FREEZE: Flexible resource is a great way to overcome short term business restrictions. If there is a hold on hiring permanent staff, it can give both HR and Line Managers the opportunity to benefit from the skills they need on a temporary basis ensuring business delivery is not compromised, whilst introducing and training a new team member before offering a permanent contract, once the freeze is lifted

To make temp to perm hiring successful there are a few best practices employers should implement;

  • Treat contract/temporary workers as part of the team and make introductions to key stakeholders/team members they will be interacting with on a regular basis. If the role is complex, it can be helpful to assign a mentor that a new temp to perm candidate can turn to for guidance and assistance

  • Be clear about what the workers role and responsibilities will be and how they fit into the bigger picture. Set clear expectations about the quality and quantity of work. It is also important to provide the same training and resources as you would any other permanent member of staff to enable them to perform their duties to the best of their ability

  • Spend time evaluating not only how the temp to perm perform assigned tasks but also how well they integrate with your existing team. Cultural fit is a critical component to long term success

If you would like to learn more about the temp to perm route and how it could benefit your business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me on 01384 446115 or drop me an email.

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