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10 Tips to Turn Your Temp Job Into a Full-Time One

Posted: October, 10, 2018 | Categories: Job Tips | Real Estate Staffing Job Tips | Staffing Agency Info | Temporary Staffing | Tips for the Workplace | Interviewing Tips | Dressing Professionally | Customer Service | Professionalism in the Workplace

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Working temporary positions is a great way to break into a new industry, giving you hands on experience and exposure to new companies. Sometimes, it can even land you a full-time position. There is never a guarantee that a temp job will turn into a full-time one, but it is possible if you show you are a cut above the rest. In fact, starting in a temporary role will often give you an advantage over external candidates applying for the same job because of the internal experience and connections you have gained; however, you can’t rely on this internal access alone.

When companies are hiring, they’re looking for someone special who will transition seamlessly onto the team & be an asset to the company. So the details count. Every little thing from the way you dress to the way you handle downtime reflects on you as a potential full-time employee. While every job varies in the skills or personality traits required, there are some non-negotiables when it comes to going temp-to-hire.

We surveyed our JWilliams Staffing executives, who have helped hundreds of their temporary candidates get hired on full-time, to find out what it takes to stand out and land that permanent job.  Who better to guide you through these behaviors than the professionals who work directly with clients and job placements themselves? Based on their experienced feedback, here are 10 Tips to Turn Your Temp Job Into a Full-Time One:

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1. Maintain a Professional Appearance

 

When it comes to your professional appearance, the quality of your attire is much more important than the quantity. Make sure to have a few professional essentials in your wardrobe, such as a matching blazer or sports coat and dress pants in a dark, neutral shade. Remember to keep your look polished and simple so you can focus on the personal interactions you have with customers. You can find in-depth advice on how to maintain your professional appearance here.

 

What the experts said:

“When it comes to dressing professionally, there are no exceptions. Employers are looking for candidates with a consistent professional appearance.”Jessica Littrell, Senior VP, Southern California

“Making an impact & being top of mind when employers are hiring is often based on first impressions. Therefore, dressing appropriately and maintaining proper hygiene is non-negotiable.”Larry Barker, Business Development Manager, North Carolina

“Always dress for success. Employers are looking for candidates who follow their professional attire guidelines. If you don’t know the dress code, wearing something classically professional is always your best bet. For example, if you aren’t sure whether you should wear a tie, it’s always best to wear one and ask about it on your first day.”Shirley Lee, Recruiting Assistant, Southern California New Home Sales Division

“You never know who is going to walk through the door. The sales manager or division president could visit on any day so dressing well every day is crucial.”Lisa Wetzel, Vice President, Southern California MF Division

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2. Come in With a Positive Attitude

 

Be optimistic, keep your personal business outside of the office, and always act friendly with your  clients and coworkers. Employers want to hire someone who rolls with the punches and stays motivated even when things don’t go as planned. Maintain an approachable demeanor and smile on your face to be seen as new-hire material.

 

What the experts said:

“As a temporary employee, you will be exposed to new environments and methods of doing things, and that’s okay. Make adjustments and keep a good attitude. Those who think positively are more likely to be hired on full-time.”Lisa Connell, Vice President, Texas

 “Be positive and friendly. Greet everyone with a smile on your face and a welcoming attitude. Employers want representatives who make their customers feel happy and appreciated!” Claudette Barton, Assistant New Home Sales Manager, Southern California

“Avoid getting involved in office drama or politics. You want to stand out in a positive way. Getting involved in “he said”/“she said” disagreements won’t send the correct message to potential employers.”Marlo Brooks, Regional Manager, East/North Bay, California Multi-Family Division

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3. Take Initiative

 

Be proactive and find ways to keep yourself busy. If you find you have some down time in the office, tidy  things up, read brochures to learn more about the company, or go back over your notes for the day. If you haven’t taken notes, take the opportunity to jot down some questions or comments you’ve received throughout the day. If you see someone in need of help, offer your assistance. However, if they indicate that they don’t need your help, don’t push them and let them stay on task. By asking and not being too persistent, you are showing potential employers that you are willing to help and take that initiative while also being considerate.

 

What the experts said:

“A key to one’s success is their willingness to work to learn before one can work to earn. Be prepared to provide support wherever it is need, even if it means filing papers. Never use your phone or surf the internet. There is always something productive to do or someone you can help.” Steven Losinske, Vice President, Arizona

 “Go the extra mile without stepping on anyone’s toes. Taking initiative in a respectful manner is the perfect way to show potential employers that you are willing to handle new tasks but that you also do not overstep boundaries.”JoAnne Williams, CEO

“When the office is clear (no traffic) stay busy by preparing folders, cleaning or straightening up the area. Offer to go that extra mile!” Teresa O’Connor, Regional Manager Las Vegas, Nevada

“If you are hired as a temp for a company, it’s for a reason. Most often, it is because someone in charge has a lot of work to do and cannot afford to be interrupted. During your down time, keep yourself busy and productive. After you have straightened up, go to whoever is in charge and ask, ‘Is there anything I can help you with today to relieve your work load?’ or ‘Do you need any copies made or filing done?’ If they have nothing for you to do, then you should not push them, simply say, ‘Okay, I’ll be over here tidying up. If you need any help, please let me know.’ Employers will appreciate it if you express your enthusiasm to help out without interfering with their work.” Priscilla Aragon, Regional Manager, Greater LA, New Home Sales Division

 

4. Arrive on Time

 

There’s an old saying that goes “5 minutes early is on time; on time is late; late is unacceptable.” Arriving on time means showing up early  enough to be fully prepared for your day by the time you are scheduled to work. Always do your research before an assignment and leave your home early enough to account for unexpected traffic delays, hitting every red light, or getting lost going to a new address. You’ll feel more confident going into the day and employers will recognize you as someone who would take initiative as a full-time employee. 

 

What the experts said:

“Arrive a few minutes early to prepare for your day. Pulling in on two wheels seconds before your scheduled time is not acceptable.”Rich Davis, Principal, North Carolina and Georgia

“Ask pertinent questions and do your research on the company ahead of time. This way, you arrive to every assignment prepared for the day.” Jessica Littrell, Senior Vice President, Southern California

“Never show up late. Coming in late to your assignment sends a message to potential employers that you do not take the job seriously.” JoAnne Williams, CEO

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5. Be Engaging and Friendly

 

Potential employers are more likely to remember you when they feel they have had an engaging interaction with you. They will also be  impressed with the positive feedback they hear from satisfied coworkers and clients. Always be friendly and listen carefully to your coworkers and clients. Look at them when they are speaking, engage, and make clarifying comments that show you understand them. Being engaging and actively listening will help you build relationships with the people you meet while on an assignment and increase your likelihood of being requested by that company in the future.

 

What the experts said:

“Be engaging with your coworkers and clients. Listen to whoever you are speaking to and make sure to ask the right questions.” Lauren Beardsley, Senior Recruiter

“The candidates who are typically hired on full-time are both engaging and friendly. They are the type of person who makes everyone feel welcome.” JoAnne Williams, CEO

“The candidates who get hired on for full-time positions most often have a light personality. They make others smile and know how to have substantial conversations.” Victoria Lund, Regional Manager, Sacramento/Reno

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6. Be Teachable

 

Candidates who are teachable are also more hireable. Employers are looking for someone who not only accepts feedback, but invites it.  Teachable employees are always willing to learn and improve themselves and their work. They ask questions, take notes, ingest and implement feedback, and are always thankful for any advice or input they receive. Read this article for tips on how to be more teachable in the workplace.

 

What the experts said:

“Be a sponge and learn as much as you can at each assignment. Not only will this help you improve your performance on future assignments, it will also show your readiness to learn and improve.”Lori Richardson, Regional Manager, Dallas/ Ft. Worth, Texas

“If you don’t know an answer to a question, never say, ‘I’m just a temp’. Instead say, ‘That’s a great question. I am filling in today, but I will help you get answers to your questions.’ Taking ownership when you are unsure of an answer will not only show your enthusiasm for your work, but it will also allow you to learn and improve.”Debbie Ferrarello, Vice President, Northern California Multi-Family Division

 

7. Be Reliable

 

Only accept assignments you can absolutely accept and do not call out. If something urgent comes up, give as much notice as possible – at least 24 hours. But try to stick to your schedule. Most staffing agencies send confirmation of coverage to the client and include your name. This means if you call out, the employer knows it was you and will not likely want you to fill their temporary assignments in the future (resulting in a loss of a potential ongoing assignment or a full-time opening with them). Employers are not going to request a temporary employee who calls out every week with a new excuse, so they are especially not going to consider them for hire. That is why it is crucial to be reliable & show up when you are scheduled for a shift.

 

What the experts said:

“Too many people call out the morning of or the night before a shift and wonder why they aren’t getting called back for new assignments. While JWS can often replace them and fill the order, the client now sees the person who called out as unreliable. If you are looking to break into a full-time position, this behavior is unacceptable.” Larry Barker, Business Development Manager, North Carolina

“Triple check your calendar before accepting an assignment. If you have something that might conflict with the shift, but aren’t sure, that doesn’t mean take the assignment until you have figured it out. Do not accept. This way, you know you will be able to show up & make a good impression with the client, setting yourself up for more temporary jobs and increased exposure with the company” Lindsay Addison, Area Manager, Raleigh-Durham

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8. Communicate Effectively

 

Effective communication means fully understanding the task at hand as well as sharing any and all important information with the company you  are providing temporary coverage for. While working, take thorough notes to leave behind for the client, detailing any important happenings, people who need to be contacted, or questions you had to help you work more effectively next time. This level of communication will impress potential employers, showing them that you truly care that the job is done right. Pay close attention to every conversation you have, think carefully before responding and focus on conveying a clear message. If you forget to share something important or cause confusion, this can hurt your chances of getting hired on full-time.

 

What the experts said:

“When you know you are scheduled for a temporary assignment, make a list of questions that will help you fully understand what you are expected to do. Either call your contact the day before or ask them first thing in the morning (depending on the instructions from your temporary staffing agency).” Mike Fischer, Regional Manager, Florida

“Take notes throughout the day on things and messages that will require follow up from a manager or other staff members, and leave a log of your interactions.” Lisa Connell, Vice President, Texas New Home Sales Division

“Never tell someone something you do not know or answer a question you are unsure of. One of the quickest ways not to get asked back to a temporary placement is to give out false information. It causes confusion and sometimes even conflict. Most people will appreciate if you are honest & tell them you do not know but will work on getting an answer for them” Michael Bocchicchio, Regional Manager, Northern California NHS

 

9. Be Patient

 

Understand that a temporary assignment does not guarantee permanent placement with a specific company. Even if the staff there loves you, they might just not have a full-time opportunity available at the time. Be patient and do not ask or nag about job openings. Asking can make the staff feel uncomfortable for a number of reasons – they’re not hiring, they are but not sure if you are being considered, they don’t want to make false promises, and so on. The best thing to do is respect the employer and focus on doing what you were asked to be there for instead of asking about future openings. In the meantime, your staffing agency is there for you and will handle the communication with clients regarding open jobs and presenting you if they see you as a good fit. If you use your job performance to show everyone you are the best possible candidate, instead of telling them that you are, that full-time opening might just be yours when it arises.

 

What the experts said:

“Our clients do not like being put on the spot. It is your job and my job to get you noticed and to be approached for an interview. I have received calls from clients asking usnot to send a certain candidateback because they were asking about open positions. Don’t ask, just impress.” Philip Eidenschink, Principal, Colorado

“Do not ask the company you are filling a temporary position for how to get hired. This makes them very uncomfortable. That is what your staffing agency is for. We are here to provide you guidance until they approach you authentically.” Scott Doig, Area Manager, Atlanta, Georgia

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10. Act as though every day is a working interview

 

As a temporary candidate, every day is a working interview. This means you should integrate everything we’ve gone over in this list and more!   Show your stuff & work as if you are a full-time employee. Step up when help is needed and let your skillset shine. Ask questions when you are not sure about something and always perform to the best of your abilities with a smile on your face. Potential employers will be monitoring your performance and if it’s impressive enough, they might ask you to come on full-time.

 

What the experts said:

“You never know who you might encounter on a temporary assignment, so put your best foot forward as if you’re walking into an interview every day. Dress well, answer questions promptly, and be respectful of the people around you.” Jessica Brown, Recruiter, Southern California Multi-Family Division

“Send a thank you note within 24 hours (via email) to the manager and anyone on staff who you met and was helpful to you. Just like in an interview, this will help them remember you when they’re looking for their next full-time employee.”Lisa Wetzel, Vice President, Southern California Multi-Family Division

 

These 10 tips on how to get hired are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to standing out to potential employers. Different temporary jobs will require certain skill sets and will have unique ways to show you’re fit to go full-time. However, if any one of these basic principles slip, you likely will miss the opportunity to turn their temporary position into a full time one – that’s how crucial they all are. Practice maintaining a professional appearance, arriving on time, coming in with a positive attitude, and treating every day as though it is a working interview. Potential employers will be impressed by how engaging, reliable, patient, and teachable you are. If you practice these habits and behaviors every day, your chances of turning that temporary position into a full-time one will significantly increase.  

 

Looking to launch your career in New Home Sales? Keep learning by reading our blog, 9 Ways to Launch your Temporary New Home Sales Job into a Career. This blog provides you with more specific insight on what New Home Builders are looking for when they want to bring a temporary associate on to their team full-time.


By JWilliams Staffing

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