Job hunting tip: Date first, commit later

If you’ve ever been on a dating app, you have learned one thing: Opportunities are many, but the right match can be elusive.

Same holds true when you’re job hunting: The openings may be many, but finding the right fit for the job you will be married to all day long, five days a week, can be excruciatingly difficult.

If you venture into the staffing service world, however, that search for the right match suddenly becomes more targeted and far less stressful.

Today’s hiring climate actually facilitates the “right match” search of those who have been disappointed with past employment decisions. With COVID continuing to suppress long-term business planning, HR departments are trending toward the onboarding of temps rather than permanent hires.

At the same time, anecdotally, employers are saying their intention is to convert from temporary to permanent once the business outlook improves. This shift is already happening at some locations. As 2021 began, General Motors announced it was redesignating 650 temps at its Fort Wayne, Ind., production facility from temporary to permanent staff.

That trend represents a huge opportunity for those looking for a better match in their preferred field, or those considering new careers. The temp agency specializes in matching the temp with an employer that meets the employee’s requirements, meantime providing benefits and ongoing support during the placement.

The temp engagement ideally runs for multiple months, offering employer and temp a chance to reality get to know one another and decide if permanent status will work for both parties.

From the temp’s perspective, this arrangement offers critical learning opportunities not available to a new hire. Among them:

Culture shock: The temp can evaluate the company’s culture during the contracted period — something that a new permanent employer cannot truly experience prior to accepting a job.

Boss insights: Your prospective new manager may be a charmer during the hiring process. But what are they like to actually work with day in and day out? The temp finds out without making a long-term commitment.

Co-worker jerks? Those smiling faces that greet you on Day One can conceal disturbing personal traits for a short time. But your co-workers always reveal themselves under the daily stress of getting the job done. Again, advantage temp.

Not as advertised: Ever gone through the hiring process given assurances you’d be doing a specific thing, only to find out it was the garden path you were led down? Temping lets you know what the employer actually expects you to do when you show up for work — and what your future may look like as a permanent employee.

Getting back to work via a staffing service offers so many more advantages to the savvy individual that they cannot all be listed here. But if you are looking for the right match this time around, taking time to be a temp can pay off handsomely over the long haul.

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