You may have heard of a temp agency before, but you might not fully understand what it is. A temp agency, also known as a staffing agency, is an agency that companies call when they have a job vacancy that needs to be filled while they find a new employee. The temp agency has a group of employees that they can draw from, based on their skills and availability, and when something comes up they send the employee to fill in until they hire someone to permanently fill the position.
Some people enjoy working temp jobs to supplement their income, while others make a career out of going from one temp job to another. But what about those who are looking for a full-time job? There are several occasions when the temporary fill-in can earn themselves a chance at filling the position permanently, and we’re going to help show you how to increase your chances of making that switch.
What Kind of Companies Use Temp Agencies?
It’s a little surprising just what kinds of companies hire temporary employees. The hardest positions to fill are IT and engineering positions, so temps in those fields are often in demand. Other high-vacancy positions are administrative assistants, customer service representatives, machinists, maintenance technicians and mechanics, as well as jobs in the healthcare industry, including doctors. Some of these are entry-level positions, and others (like a doctor or engineer) are a highly-specialized trade. This provides a wide range of possibilities for temporary employment in a desired field, which might lead to the ultimate goal of full-time employment.
How Can I Turn a Temp Job into A Full-Time Job?
One thing you should keep in mind is that some jobs will always be temporary. We’ve all seen signs in store windows that say things like “Now Hiring for Summer” or “Now Hiring Holiday Help”. Jobs like these are designed to meet needs during high-volume times, and many business scale back during slower months (this is truer for the retail industry than those who don’t have specific marketing seasons). Summer and holiday jobs are almost always temporary, making them a good fit for students who are only looking to work while school is out. But some jobs that are filled by a temporary employee are waiting for someone to fill the position permanently, and that’s what we want to focus on right now.
A lot of these tips are great for obtaining any kind of job, but can be the difference between “thanks for filling in” and “would you be interested in coming on board permanently?”. Here are some things that can help set you apart from other temps when looking for a permanent position:
- Find out if there is a possibility of permanent employment. Knowing what the company is looking for will give you a better idea of how to move forward, and even asking the question will let them know you’re interested in more.
- Be reliable and enthusiastic, and get to know the company. If you can’t be counted on to show up on time and do the job on a temporary basis, there’s no way you’ll ever be considered for a permanent position. Being excited and knowing about the culture of the company can help them see you as a part of the team, and when they see you as part of the team they want you to BE part of the team.
- Treat the job as permanent, and build relationships with other employees. It can be easy when you know something is temporary to “just get through it”, and a lot of companies see that mentality with temporary employees; they do exactly what their asked, for as long as their asked, without doing anything more or stepping outside of the idea of temporary employment. If you show up and treat the job like you want to work there long-term, get to know the people you work with, ask the for their feedback and offer ideas when asked, there’s a better chance you’ll be asked to fill other temporary positions as they come up, and the more they see you coming back and working for them when they need you, the more they’ll feel like they can count on you long-term.
There are a lot of opportunities for people looking for work starting on a temporary basis. Some of these opportunities are freelance based, are contracted, or are just meant to fill a vacancy while a position is filled. If you find yourself filling one of these positions and you’re hoping that it’ll turn into something permanent, the first step is to see if that’s even an option. If it is, treat the job like a working interview and really take the opportunity to show them what an asset you’d be.