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

Posted: January, 12, 2022 | Categories: Workplace Tips & Professionalism | Career Guides


Working temporary positions is a great way to break into a new industry, giving you hands-on experience and exposure to new companies. Many times, it can even land you a full-time position. There is no 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 and the timing works. Starting in a temporary role often gives you an advantage over external candidates applying for the same job because of the internal experience and connections you have gained.

When companies are hiring, they’re looking for an impressive candidate who will transition seamlessly onto the team & be an asset to the company. First impressions and details count. From the way you dress to the way you handle downtime, every little thing reflects on you as a potential employee.

We surveyed our JWilliams Staffing executives, who have helped hundreds of temporary candidates get hired, to find out what it takes to stand out and land that full-time job.  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 your customers can focus on your conversations. You can find in-depth advice on how to maintain your professional appearance here.


What the experts said:

“When it comes to dressing appropriately, there are no exceptions. Employers are looking for candidates with a consistent professional appearance.”Debra H. Worth, Regional Manager, Southern Nevada

“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.”Gina Robinette, Regional Manager, 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.”Brandon Holland, Vice President, Southern California Multi-Family 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 pleasant 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.”CiAnn Blue, Vice President, Texas

“Be positive and friendly. Greet everyone with a smile and a welcoming attitude. Employers want representatives who make their customers feel happy and appreciated!”Claudette Barton, Client Relations Manager, Southern California

“Avoid getting involved in office drama or politics. You want to stand out in a positive way, and getting involved in “he said”/“she said” disagreements won’t send the correct message to potential employers.”Marlo Brooks, Vice President, Northern 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 downtime 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 being gracious, you show potential employers that you are willing to help and take that initiative while also being considerate.


What the experts said:

 “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

“If you are hired as a temp for a company, it’s for a reason. It is often because someone in charge has a lot of work to do and cannot afford to be interrupted. During your downtime, 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 workload?’ or ‘Do you need any copies made or filing done?’ Employers will appreciate it if you express your enthusiasm to help out without interfering with their work.”Joseph Valle, Regional Manager, NorCal Multi-Family 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:

“Ask pertinent questions and do your research on the company ahead of time. This way, you arrive at every assignment prepared for the day.”Rachel Lopez, Senior Account Manager, Idaho & Arizona New Home Sales Division

“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 actively listen to your coworkers and clients. Look at them when they are speaking, engage, and make clarifying comments that show you understand them. Engaging with people you meet on assignment can increase your likelihood of being requested by that company in the future.


What the experts said:

“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 New Home Sales Division

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6. Be Teachable


Teachable candidates are also more hirable. Employers are looking for someone who not only accepts feedback but is always thankful for any advice or input they receive.  Teachable employees are always willing to learn and improve themselves and their work. 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, but it will also show your readiness to learn and improve.”Lauren Beardsley, National Director of Recruiting

“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.”CiAnn Blue, Vice President, Texas


7. Be Reliable


Only accept an assignment if you can absolutely make it, 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 will not 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:

“Triple-check your calendar before accepting an assignment. If you have something that might conflict with the shift but aren’t sure, do not accept the assignment until you have figured it out. This way, you know you will be able to commit, making a good impression with the client and setting yourself up for more temporary assignments and increased exposure with the company.” –  Juan Vasquez, Sr. Director of Maintenance, Multi-Family Division  

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8. Communicate Effectively


Effective communication means fully understanding the task at hand and sharing all important information with the company where you are temporarily assigned.  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 essential or cause confusion, this can hurt your chances of getting hired.


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).”Gina Robinette, Regional Manager, Southern California New Home Sales Division

“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.”CiAnn Blue, Vice President, Texas

“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 false information. 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 New Home Sales Division


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 several reasons, including: they’re not hiring, they are hiring but are not sure if you are being considered, or they don’t want to make false promises. The best thing to do is to respect the employer and focus on doing what you were asked to do instead of asking about future employment. 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 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 us not to send a certain candidate back because they were pressing to be considered for open positions. Don’t ask, just impress.”Brandon Holland, Vice President, Southern California Multi-Family Division

“Do not ask the company you are working 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.” Victoria Lund, Regional Manager, Sacramento/Reno New Home Sales Division

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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 skill set 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.”Brandon Holland, Vice President, 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.”Claudette Barton, Client Relations Manager, New Home Sales 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 require certain skill sets and will have unique ways to show you’re a fit for full-time. However, if any one of these basic principles slips, you likely will miss the opportunity to turn their temporary position into a full-time one. Practice maintaining your professional appearance, arrive on time, come with a positive attitude, and treat 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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