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Mistakes You Make With Temps - Part 2

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by Lisa Johnson

3 months ago

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You think that Temp to Perm is a safe way to ‘try before you buy’

We often encourage hiring managers who are a little ambivalent about an applicant to consider engaging them on a temporary basis, initially.  It’s a try before you buy opportunity for both the job seeker and the hiring manager, to ‘test the waters'.  But be careful on the length of the temporary engagement.  This is particularly true if the temp is engaged for 6 months or longer and there were performance issues within that time frame which were not managed appropriately.

You must also be aware that if people are using the language ‘temp to perm’ with the job seeker, it DOES set that expectation of ongoing work. So, if a permanent job opportunity is not forthcoming, there could be a risk of an unfair dismissal claim.

Protect yourself by keeping the temporary part of the temp to perm equation to less than 6 months.  If there are performance or conduct issues, talk to your recruitment consultant as soon as you can, so problems can be managed and resolved.  And if you have taken a temp on whilst you are looking for permanent employee, make sure the temp is aware that you are still recruiting and their application for the permanent role will be considered alongside other applicants ( if they have  permanent working rights, of course).

You think that people who temp for long periods are unreliable

We see this all the time!  Hiring managers who look at the resume of a job seeker who has worked on a temporary basis for an extended period of time and assume they can’t hold down a permanent job.  But I have to be honest here, often the reverse is true.

Someone who has had consistent temporary work for a long period of time is hot property.  These people have proven they can enter a new environment and hit the ground running; they are adaptable and bring skills into the organisation.  They avoid office politics and focus on the job at hand. In fact, if you are looking for someone to just get on with the job and to not hang out at the water cooler gossiping about The Bachelor, this person is your ideal candidate!

The biggest challenge for you when faced with this type of individual; is your ability to make them want to work for you permanently.  Because they often enjoy solving problems and if you can’t challenge them, you might, inadvertently, bore them.

In this article:

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