Contract, temporary, or freelance contracts have become steadily more popular over the past few years, which is unsurprising, since it gives employers the perfect opportunity to test the water with a candidate before they fully invest. However, understandably, candidates can be wary of the lack of stability that comes with a short-term role. But is ‘temporary’ such a bad thing? If approached in the right way, temping can offer a fantastic opportunity to get your foot in the door and, once you’ve got that foot in, impress everyone as the ideal permanent employee.
So, whether you’re a job seeker looking for your next challenge, or a contractor hoping to make it a long-term gig, here are our top tips for turning a temporary position into a permanent one.
Treat it like a permanent role
Approaching any new role half-heartedly is a sure-fire way to attract the wrong sort of attention from your managers. Treat your temp job no differently to a permanent one and demonstrate your keenness and dedication to the company from the off. Remember that even if a permanent position doesn’t immediately become available at the end of your contract, that’s not to say it won’t be an option down the line. If a business has already been impressed by a candidate and seen what they can offer, it’s likely they will remember that person when a permanent opportunity comes up. Start as you mean to go on and ensure you’re at the forefront of the employer’s mind by making your commitment clear to see.
Do your homework
We get it, no one likes homework. But taking the time to learn about the specific business needs of your employer can help you to hone the skills relevant to their particular industry. Rather than seeing your temp role as a means to an end, think of it as an opportunity to develop your professional experience and learn something new. A willingness to learn is a great indication of a candidate’s potential and future employers will be impressed by your industry understanding. In short? Learn as much as you can in the time that you have.
Build professional relationships and make contacts. Get to know others in the company and let them get to know you. This doesn’t mean just the people in your immediate team either – introduce yourself to wider teams and staff members and show that you are approachable and a team player. Remember that hiring managers often ask around for colleague opinions and first impressions do count. Companies want employees who fit in with their culture and get on with the rest of the team, so never underestimate the importance of a smile and a hello. Even if one contract doesn’t lead to a permanent role, you never know when another opportunity will arise through one of the new connections you’ve made.
How staff can ‘add value’ to a company will be measured differently depending on where you work. But whether an employer sees this as being able to cut costs, grow sales or maximise productivity, they will only create permanent roles when there is a justifiable business need. So when you’re in your temp role, look to see what the general business needs are and whether you can improve current processes. Could there be a way of making a business function more efficiently? Are there other departments that need support? Ask yourself how you can add value to the company, and then go and do it.
Go above and beyond
If companies are looking for employees to add value to their business, it’s a safe bet that the worker willing to go the extra mile is more likely to stand out. Ask if there is anything else you can help out with or learn. If you spot something that could give you extra responsibility or knowledge, suggest to your supervisor that this could be something you take on or something you would like to learn. This will show you are enthusiastic, have a positive attitude and are flexible – all of which are high on the list of must-have qualities for a permanent employee.
A temporary role can be a fantastic opportunity if approached with the right mind-set. Although short-term temporary contracts might help employers find the perfect people, they can also help candidates find their perfect job. Show your dedication, learn as much as you can and wow everyone with your great attitude!