Often, organizations contract with temporary employees to fill a position as a way to “try before they buy.” Here’s how to get them to buy – that is, offer you a permanent position with their company.
1. Select Your Target
Go to a staffing agency that specializes in your industry, if possible, or find one that suits your skill set. If you have a specific company you want to work for, go directly to the temporary hiring firm that they use. Starting off in an environment where you already have the skills and experience to fill the position is a good first step.
2. Mind Their Business
Make an effort to know the company you are working for – what products or services they offer, what industry they compete in, who their top competitors are. Study the arena the company operates in, how they make money, and where you may be able to bring value. The more knowledgeable you are about the business, the more valuable you can become to the employer.
3. Understand Their Culture
Pay attention to the company culture. Hiring managers are learning how important it is to hire people who fit in with the company’s values, codes of conduct, and employment brand. This includes the company’s written mission and external reputation, and also its key players, how work gets done, unwritten dress codes, priorities, and internal dynamics. If you take the time to understand these nuances, and you feel you fit in, you will already have an advantage when a permanent position opens.
4. Show Them Your Stuff
Be willing to take on projects or tasks even if they may not seem to fall into your assigned role. Also, whenever possible, volunteer for additional work since this will show positive energy, commitment, and a strong work ethic. The more you contribute and the more projects or teams you are involved in, the more valuable you become to your manager or the company.
5. Tap Your Staffing Company
Your staffing agency has a good relationship with the company or you wouldn’t be there. Use this to your advantage and let the staffing agency know you would be interested in a full-time position at your current organization. Do not let your direct manager know your intentions, as this could be perceived as trying to go behind your agency’s back. Be up front about your interest in the company and let your staffing agency mediate for you should the opportunity arise.
6. Remember There’s No I in Team
Just like any other job, take the initiative to get to know your co-workers. Think of yourself as part of the team – offer to help your colleagues with work, take the time to learn about your teammates, and develop relationships. If people get to know you and like you and your work, they will think of you for future openings.
7. Maintain a Professional Attitude
Whether it is how you dress or how you behave, you need to stay professional while temping. Be respectful to everyone in the company, and try to stay out of any office politics or co-worker badmouthing. If you come across a situation where someone treats an employee badly, don’t react. Just do your job and learn to work within the company.
Working through a staffing agency can get you noticed for jobs that you wouldn’t hear of or see posted online. Once you get into a company, if you do your homework, work hard, and impress your superiors, that temporary opportunity might well become a permanent position.