How to Transition a Temporary Employee to a Permanent Position



When you need short-term workers, you may find it beneficial to hire temporary staff. With time, you may consider transitioning the temp employee to a permanent position. How do you handle the process so that it is smooth and beneficial for both parties?

If you hired the temporary employee directly, the process of converting them to permanent status is entirely upon you. If you hired them through a staffing agency, the process would differ based on a few things. Here is what you need to do in both instances.


Temporary Employees Hired Directly

The first thing to do is determine whether the employee would be a good fit as a permanent staff member. You want to analyze this factor from the perspective of company culture and the employee’s skill set. Talk to the employee and find out how they feel about becoming a permanent employee. If they are enthusiastic about the offer, their expression will show.

As you talk to them, you can gauge how they like the new role. Do they have a genuine interest in the job? This is also the time to ask them what they hope to bring to the table as a permanent employee. They need to show commitment and flexibility.

Additionally, it is important to talk to the employees who have been working with the temp staff member. They are in an excellent position to validate the candidate’s role and fit in their new status. Having interacted with the employee closely, they can provide you with insights you otherwise might not have.


Temporary Employees from a Staffing Agency

For temp employees provided by a staffing agency, the procedure may differ, depending on several essential factors. These include the contract terms, type of employee, and staffing company policies. The first step is to reach out to the staffing agency’s contact person and revisit the conversion process from temp to permanent employee.

Find out from the agency if they allow this kind of conversion and what the process looks like. If their policies allow the transition, they can assist you in the process. The first point would be for the agency to contact the temporary staff and determine what they think about the opportunity. In case of any concerns or questions regarding the opportunity, the agency acts as the negotiator between you and the employee.

The agency handles the entire negotiation process and will learn the employee’s expectations in the new role. One of the most important factors to consider is the employees expected salary or the hourly wage. Transitioning to a permanent employment position comes with an expectation for a higher pay rate, benefits, and other perks. As an employer, you need to consider if you can meet these additional financial obligations.

Upon figuring out the employee’s expected salary rate, make the employee understand the benefits plan. What other forms of compensation do you offer permanent employees? Do you offer any incentives for employee motivation or reward?


Validation with the Staffing Agency

The next step in the process is to validate with the staffing professional if you have all the necessary information. This will help you convert the employee into a direct-hire so that the agency no longer binds you. However, the agency can still extend its services through the hiring process. If any questions or concerns arise before the transition is complete, it can act as the mediator to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Ensure that all the necessary background checks are complete. It would help to get a report from the agency, but you should also verify the information yourself. Once you are satisfied with the findings, complete the testing and assessment, and get any references you may need. Finally, draw up the employment contract or job offer and let the employee know when they can start working as permanent staff. If you need help with drafting the job offer, the staffing agency can assist.


Advantages of Converting a Temp Staff to Permanent Employee

Hiring temporary staff is an excellent way to source great talent quickly and at a lower cost. If the talent you find meets your needs, you have the luxury of interacting with and understanding the candidate before hiring them permanently. You also have the advantage of ending the contract without the legal permutations associated with full-time employees. This helps mitigate the risk that comes with the hiring process.

However, no matter how skilled a candidate is, there is no guarantee that they will be the best fit for your company and its culture. Having a temporary employee on your team allows you to scope out their quality of work and assess their ability to mesh with your staff before making any final decisions.


Final Thoughts

Converting a temporary staff to a permanent position is an advantage to both the employee and employer. However, for the process to work out smoothly, it is important that you follow the right procedure, whether you are going it alone or working with a staffing firm. If a staffing agency is involved, find out their policies about the transition and how they can help. If you have questions or need more information, contact us today. You can also learn more about our staffing services here or browse our current opportunities.






Chris Bouchard is the Talent Shareholder at Lutz with over 16 years of staffing and recruiting experience. He focuses on direct-hire and temporary staffing and strategic assessment and selection of potential candidates with an emphasis on human resources, accounting, finance, and office administrative positions.

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  • BS, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, MO
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