Companies that made personnel cuts during the recession remain cautious about extending offers until they’re confident a candidate is a good fit, and many now view temporary assignments as an audition of sorts for roles that could become full-time. In a survey by the American Staffing Association, 80 percent of staffing client companies said staffing firms offer a good way to find people who can become permanent employees. Following are tips on using temporary work to open doors to full-time employment:
Make your interests known. Tell your staffing manager or recruiter about the types of assignments that appeal to you and mention your strong interest in “temp-to-hire” (sometimes called “contract-to-hire”) opportunities. He or she can then try to place you in roles that offer the best potential for conversion to full-time employment.
Seek clarification. Before starting a temporary assignment, your staffing manager will give you the pertinent details about the company where you’ll be working and the specific job you’ll be performing. Still, it’s smart to clarify responsibilities, priorities and goals with your on-site supervisor once you arrive for work. You’ll be able to make a more immediate contribution (and avoid costly misunderstandings) if you request a brief big-picture overview of the assignment early on. Doing so also demonstrates your enthusiasm for the job.
Showcase your soft skills. Remember that it’s not just your technical skills that will be observed during your assignment. Employers will also be evaluating your ability to communicate ideas, collaborate with others, take direction and solve problems. Adopt a positive, team-oriented attitude and don’t be afraid to take full ownership of your projects.
There is, of course, the possibility that a permanent offer may not materialize regardless of how wonderfully you perform. In these situations, maintain your professionalism. Thank the supervisor for the great opportunity and keep in touch. He or she could serve as a reference or provide valuable job leads down the road.
Accountemps is the world’s first and largest temporary staffing service specializing in the placement of accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The company has more than 360 offices throughout North America, South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and offers online job search services at www.accountemps.com