Temp to Perm – is it a perfect match?

As a Business Owner or Hiring Manager there is a strong chance that at some point you’ve been short staffed due to an unexpected absence or had a resignation right at the wrong time with very little time to appoint a replacement. In recent times, we have seen an increase in companies utilising a temporary worker to step in at short notice to alleviate some of this pressure.

Engaging in temporary staff can have so many spin-off effects for a business including building a positive staff morale where your team feels supported rather than placing increased demands on existing staff.  You may also feel like you’ve hit the jackpot when your temp is fitting in so well with the team, is getting through the work and you’re thinking they may be a potential permanent employee.

Early in my career, I worked as a temp in both the UK and Melbourne and still remember being offered a permanent job after only working as a temp for a company for 1 week. In that week, I’d had very few conversations with my line manager other than about the tasks at hand and whilst it was flattering to receive an offer of employment, I still didn’t even really know what the job involved!


Before jumping the gun and making an offer of employment to your temp, here are some aspects to consider first:

  • Position Description: has the temporary staff member been provided with a copy of the Position Description for the role they are performing? Are they performing all aspects of the role? If not, are they aware of what other tasks the permanent position will involve and the percentage of time that will be spent on these?
  • Previous experience: have you seen their resume and/or are aware of their previous experience? Would they qualify as a suitable candidate if they were applying for the role if it was advertised?
  • Career ambitions: What are their long term career goals? Does this role fit with those and what you can offer them within your organisation? Or are they more suited to the temporary role?
  • Culture Fit: how do they fit the culture of your team? They may be a great fit for your team but they also need the relevant skills to do the job – don’t let the fact you might like this person override their skills and capabilities. Remember to be objective.
  • Punctuality and Attendance: Have they been punctual and reliable whilst on assignment? If you’ve had a temp who has had attendance issues, this is a red flag for me to not offer permanent employment.
  • Quality of work: Has the quality of work been to the standard required or are exceptions being made because they are a temp? As I mentioned earlier, I’d encourage you to expose them to as much of the role as possible so they can truly see what the job involves.


I’d encourage you to make time to sit down with your temporary staff member and explore the opportunity together to see if the opportunity ticks the boxes for both parties. It’s important to remember that people are choosing to seek out temporary or casual work for a variety of reasons whether it be flexible work arrangements, a chance to upskill, exposure to different industries to name a few, so whilst you may think it’s the perfect fit for your team and business – it needs to be for them as well.

I hope these points assist in your decision making and if you would like some further advice on how to navigate through this process or how utilising temporary workers could assist your business, feel free to contact me for a chat. At Inspire HQ, we are passionate about creating great workplaces and a temp to perm appointment is another avenue to achieve that.

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