Six Tips for Turning a Temporary Gig Into Full-Time Work

Robert Half International

The job market is slowly improving, and one area that has been heating up is temporary employment. This sector has added 313,000 jobs since September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Indeed, many companies are finding that they cut staff levels too deeply during the recession. As a result, they are adding interim workers to help ramp up production, maintain productivity and keep initiatives on track as the economy begins to recover.

The good news for job seekers is that businesses often look first to those who have excelled in a temporary job when recruiting for full-time roles. In fact, nearly three-quarters of executives we interviewed said it's beneficial to bring in prospective employees on a contract basis before hiring them full time.

Following are six tips for turning a temporary assignment into a full-time position:

1. Pick a great partner.

Consider tapping the services of a staffing firm specializing in your field. Staffing professionals are well-connected in their local business communities and can serve as advocates for you when speaking with hiring managers. Also, you can take advantage of free training opportunities offered by these firms to help build your skills and the value you bring to employers.

2. State your objective.

Let staffing firms and potential employers know you're ultimately looking for a full-time job. If they understand that upfront, they may try to place you in a role more likely to lead to that result.

3. Take a long-term approach.

Once you're on the assignment, bring the same intensity to a temporary job that you would to a full-time position. Adapt quickly to the organization's culture and start contributing immediately. Maintaining a positive attitude is key. Employers will assess how well you handle constructive criticism, setbacks and other job-related challenges as part of your overall performance evaluation. As your assignment progresses, seek feedback on how you're doing and how you can improve in the role.

4. Observe the written and unwritten rules.

Every office has its own culture. Follow the official protocol and ask questions when clarification is needed. Watch how top managers respond to certain situations and model your behavior on theirs, as appropriate. For example, their lead could help you determine how casual "Casual Friday" really is.

5. Let your personality shine.

Employers want to see how well you'll fit in with the team. Actively participate in meetings and join colleagues in off-site events when possible to build rapport and establish connections within the company. Just remember to always be yourself. A temporary position is also an opportunity for you to get a sense of the company and how well your personality matches the corporate culture.

6. Be patient.

Keep in mind that many firms are still suffering from the downturn and may not have the budget to make a full-time hire right away. Even if you don't receive an offer for a full-time job, know that your temporary role has likely helped you build your skills, expand your professional network and better position yourself for a future opportunity.

Next:Success Stories: I Went From Temporary Worker to Full-Time Hire >>


Robert Half International is the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm, with a global network of more than 360 offices. For more information about our professional services, please visit

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