Tips for going from temp to perm

Tips for going from temp to perm
Tips for going from temp to perm

posted 16 Nov 22

From flexible shifts to learning new skills, there are many benefits to temporary work. As a recruitment partner to leading companies across multiple industries, we place candidates in temporary and permanent roles. For sectors such as Hospitality, Healthcare, Construction, and Call & Contact Centre, temping is more common, and demand for temporary workers increases during busier periods such as public holidays. 

The pandemic created volatility and uncertainty in the economy, which led to employers needing more flexibility when hiring. According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of temporary employees in the UK increased by 13.5% from July 2021 to September 2021 alone. Hiring 'temps’ (consultants, freelancers, or contractual workers) before advertising a permanent position allows employers to measure the demand for that role long term and trial suitable candidates before committing to a permanent contract. For candidates, temping presents an opportunity for individuals to enter a specific industry and showcase their skills to employers.

Temp jobs provide employees with the opportunity to gain experience in various aspects of a company and in many cases, just get a foot in the door. Working on both temp and perm roles in Business Support, I regularly go on to place temporary candidates, who have impressed a client, into permanent roles. Upon offer, candidates have the luxury of choosing to take the perm role or take on another temporary position.

Evette, Business Partner at Search

Are you a temporary employee with aspirations to go permanent? Below is some guidance on how you can make a positive impact and lasting impression to turn your temporary role into a permanent one.

Take opportunities to gain experience

When working in a temporary role, try and say 'yes' to new challenges and responsibilities to expand your experience. All companies operate differently and temping offers an opportunity to learn new skills, such as getting to grips with different IT systems, building your customer relationship approach and problem-solving abilities. Not only will these experiences build your capabilities, they’ll also enrich your CV improving your employability. Broad work experience also helps you to evaluate businesses and their operating models more analytically, building your knowledge of best working practices.

Exceed expectations

Be 100% reliable – show up on time, deliver quality work, and communicate with your colleagues. Treat your temporary job or contract like a permanent full-time position. Many temporary workers treat work as ‘temporary’ and don’t take it seriously enough, you can stand out by going the extra mile and showing commitment, enthusiasm, and flexibility. Altering your mindset will help you feel like you’re part of the company and you’ll start to anticipate business needs and proactively offer your help and ideas. This will all contribute to ensuring your employer regards you as essential to the overall success of the business.

Learn the business and adapt to the culture

Think outside of your direct responsibilities and take the time to understand company objectives and culture. Like with any new role, it’s important to do your due diligence, speak to as many people as possible, learn about the culture and get to grips with the business strategy. Only then will you be in a position to understand to advise on improvements and new ways of working. This will develop your credibility and emphasise your long term commitment to the business. 

Network, network, network

Even if there isn’t an opportunity to go permanent in your current position, your manager or peers can provide recommendations when you decide to move on, or might be able to refer you to a contact who has open positions. Temping allows you to showcase your skills and meet a range of professionals, enabling you to build your network and grow your industry presence.

Make your intentions known

After you feel you’ve made a good impression, and if the time’s right, discuss your aspirations with your manager. If you’re working under an agency like Search, you should also let the consultant, who placed you, know. Making your interest in a permanent role known, will keep you front of mind when a position arises. We advise planting the seed as early as possible to avoid missed opportunities, but it's also important to be patient. Expressing an interest is different from explicitly asking for the job right away, so beware that your employer will want to see evidence of how you can help benefit the business in your current role, first.

If you are contemplating a career change and want to trial temporary work in a different sector, or perhaps you’ve gained experience in a temporary role and want the security of a permanent position, our team can help you take the next step in your career. Contact us today to discuss your requirements and aspirations.