Evaluating Temp-to-Perm Hires

December 8, 2020


Enterprise Staffing provides extraordinary flexibility and practical options for recruiting talent. Of course, we offer temporary solutions for a wide array of positions from construction to medical staff.  With top-quality recruiting staff and years of experience in creating successful placements, Enterprise can provide tailored results to fit your needs. 

In this post, we focus on one specific hiring option: temp-to-perm hires. Essentially, we give employers the option to convert a temporary placement into a full-time permanent hire. The clear advantages of this option include allowing firms to fill a vacancy as well as the potential to vet candidates for the position and evaluate their skills. The decision, however, doesn’t always come easily. It can be easy to come to like an employee as a person and prioritize this relationship over their work performance.

Here, we share best practices for making the decision about whether to bring your temporary employee in a permanent capacity. First, clarify the requirements of the position and the skills and experience sought. Writing out a formal job description can be helpful in articulating the specific responsibilities of the job and sketching a profile of the ideal candidate to fill the position. Look at the employee’s background and see if their skills match the job requirements.

Next, find ways to evaluate the employee’s performance thus far. If possible, utilize available data to create this assessment. Evaluations from co-workers and supervisors also prove extremely useful qualitative measurements in measuring job performance. If a temporary employee has done their job well according to those who know the work best, chances are that employee will continue to thrive with greater responsibilities. 

So there it is, how to decide about hiring temporary workers permanently: know what you’re looking for, know what they bring to the table, and gauge how well they’ve done so far. If employers can do these things, they will be well-placed in the choice of whether to hire or not.

Writing a Job Description

More of a useful exercise than a requirement, writing a job description can help an employer to think about a position’s scope of responsibilities as well as the ideal candidate to fill the position. While there are different elements to writing a good job description, the focus here is to hone in on the ideal characteristics of a potential staff member. 

Think of the day-to-day duties, and use these to boil down the job’s core responsibilities. Ask yourself: What level of education and training do these responsibilities require? How much and what type of experience am I seeking from a candidate? What role will they play in the scheme of my firm? Jotting down answers to these questions will go a long way in providing a set of expectations by which to judge current temporary workers.

Evaluating Resumes and Experience

The main advantage of looking at a temporary employee’s resume is to get a fuller picture of their past work. The shorter an employee has spent at your firm, the more helpful this will be, since less time on the job means less ability to evaluate performance. Keep the job description handy for this part. Look at the employee’s past professional accomplishments and see if they match up with the demands of your position. 

More, look to see that they’ve grown their capacities and earned the trust of previous employers with new responsibilities. Make sure they commit to each position and don’t bounce from place to place. A career path that shows stability and advancement bodes well for a candidate’s future at your firm.

Assessing Job Performance

One of the main advantages of hiring temporary employees is the ability to gauge their strengths and weaknesses on the job. Yet, comparing an employee’s qualities against other potential job candidates can be more challenging. Below, we share two critical tools to evaluate an employee’s capacities: data and recommendations.

1. Data

More and more, firms are turning to objective, quantitative metrics of performance to make hiring and promotion decisions. Putting numbers to what an employee produces and how efficiently they use resources does much to parse out what exactly they contribute to the organization. Setting goals in this regard can also be helpful in helping employees understand expectations and providing feedback. In this data, look especially for improvement to see whether they show potential for learning and growth.


Talk to the people closest to the employee in question, taking time to listen diligently and ask thoughtful questions. Find out what the employee has done well and identify areas where the employee has struggled. Again, reference your job description to assess the importance and relevance of the employee’s strengths and weaknesses. 

Perhaps most important in speaking to the employee’s closest colleagues is getting a sense for how the employee fits into the culture of the firm. Listen for clues about their working style, their relationships with coworkers, and how they represent the company to clientele and other members of the public. If coworkers gel with the employee and their style fits well into the workflow of the company, chances are they will continue to get along well with their colleagues.

Making a Final Decision

Two additional steps can prove helpful in the process: viewing more applications and interviewing the current employee. The former asks fairly simple questions: who else is out there, and how do they stack up against my current temporary employee? Check in with yourself over how much risk you are willing to take on someone who looks better on paper but whose work you have never actually seen. 

Finally, speak directly and candidly to your temporary employee. Offer feedback on their work and make your concerns plain. This provides the employee with an opportunity either to impress you with their response or to falter or make excuses. If the permanent position entails additional responsibilities, use the interview to gauge how they might meet these new duties.

At this point, you have done all you can to inform your decision. Review the job requirements once more, and see if the employee’s work experience and job performance are enough to convince you to ask them to join your firm.

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