The Temp-to-Perm Reality in the War for Talent

Nearly half of all workers who accept a temporary or contract position in the United States hope that the position will lead to a permanent job, according to a 2006 American Staffing Association survey.

The ASA survey of 13,196 contractors and temps asked about the workers’ overall attitudes toward their employment, recruitment agencies, and end-user clients.

Most respondents viewed their temporary or contract jobs as a way to get a permanent job, earn additional income, and improve their skills.

Nearly one-quarter of those who got permanent positions said that working as a contract employee helped them get a permanent job faster, with 49% of the surveyed employees noting a full-time offer was an extremely important factor in their decision to take the job at all.

Though there was a minus 6% difference between the importance of landing a full-time position and their assessment of the subsequent reality, other areas showed the workers’ expectations were exceeded.

Four percent of workers said the additional income exceeded expectations, and most workers said temporary or contract work was less stressful than they had anticipated.

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Training Advancement

The survey suggests that contract workers may fill the void in the war for talent. Specifically, such temporary positions provide training that may benefit future employers such as clerical or healthcare staffing shortages.

The survey shows that employees in the clerical sector were more likely to be seeking experience or training to improve their skills. Employees in the healthcare sector rated lifestyle factors highest, were more likely to work part time, and were the most satisfied with their pay.

However, nearly one in four (23%) said they had “little or no interest” in a permanent job.

Within that group, the flexibility factors rated most important were flexible work times (23%), choice of assignments (22%), and needing time for family (20%).

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.


1 Comment on “The Temp-to-Perm Reality in the War for Talent

  1. So maybe it’s a shameless plug, but if there was ever an appropriate time to do it,this is it. (angels and horns please)

    If you are a company that hires contractors, this is a free resource for you to use. STOP… go back and re-read that sentence.

    If you are a staffing (consulting) firm, there is a charge BUT you also get to market and promote your available contractors to companies who are looking for contract talent.

    Also, you can conduct rate research for IT contractors. We take information from submissions and hires from 3,000 companies, 12,000 staffing firms, and 40,000 independent consultants. We then validate that information and publish it to our site.

    Pretty cool eh?

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