Temp-to-Hire vs. Permanent Placement

Image of Kimberly Joyce
Kimberly Joyce

Test drive or buy?

Picture this: You’re hiring! You have a vacancy open and you partner with a staffing company to help find you the best-qualified candidate (great move, by the way). The agency finds you a “star” or as we at TeamPeople call these skillful candidates, "Team Most Valuable Players." But, your next decision: should you hire them directly or should you try them out on a temporary-to -hire basis? Kind of like test-driving a car before you buy the car. For many hiring managers this answer may be obvious but in my experience, it all depends on several factors. Read below as we compare and contrast both services.



In summary, an agency, like TeamPeople, will place jobseekers with a company that is looking to try out an employee on a temporary basis, with hopes that it could end up being a longer-term engagement. The temporary assignment is considered a trial period and gives both the company and employee an opportunity to determine if they are a good fit for each other – a huge benefit for both sides. Why?

From the company's standpoint, they can use the temporary assignment to evaluate the employee and see if they have the skills necessary to be brought on full-time without a long-term commitment.   In short, companies spend thousands of dollars on training, benefits and onboarding in just the probationary period, which could be a huge burden if the candidate does not work out. By going the temporary to permanent direction, companies can make sure that the employee fits in with the company's culture before investing time and money.

For the employee, this is a great way to see if the position is a fit and if they feel comfortable with the employer and culture. In addition, temp-to-hire positions provide an excellent opportunity for candidates to network and meet other employees who may either help them transition to a full-time job with the company or potentially provide them with quality leads for work at other companies.

However, there is a downside. For the candidate, there is no guarantee for the position to go permanent. With this in mind, candidates who are currently in a permanent position are less likely to leave their current role with a position that has no guarantee. Therefore, clients may not find their “Star” or “Team MVP,” but someone who is looking for work and less likely to be as invested with the company.


Permanent Placement

When an agency services a client with a permanent placement, they are finding candidates for them and then placing them directly with the company, usually for a flat fee. Sometimes there is a retainer involved and other times it’s a fee based on the candidate’s salary – this all depends on the agencies terms.   There is no trial period, instead candidates are placed permanently with the company and never have a temporary engagement with the staffing agency.

When finding candidates for permanent placement, agencies are on the hunt to find the very best candidate. Agencies will approach potential “passive” candidates who are working on permanent positions and most of the time are working at competing companies. You are more likely to attract highly skilled candidates with a permanent opportunity then one that is not guaranteed.

Another huge benefit for companies to go this direction is that staffing companies have more resources to find high-level talent than most hiring managers do. Recruiters have the time where most hiring managers do not. Do you know how much money you could be saving going with an agency just on this point alone?

Also, agencies are very well connected with industry contacts; they regularly network, constantly talking to industry professionals and are scouring the Internet for talent.   Why wouldn’t you use an agency?

So the question is – to test drive or to buy?   Bottom line: either direction you choose will still save you money and time because agencies are skilled in the industry they are staffing. What matters is, that you find the talent you are looking for that is the best match for your company.

TeamPeople is the go-to resource for daily hire and crewing, temp-to-hire, managed services and permanent placement services for the media and AV world. Need an editor, producer, still photographer or engineer? Whether you need them for the day or for the year, we’re your best bet!

Have more questions on the difference between temp-to-hire and permanent placement? Connect with me on Linkedin.

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