South-Western - Management  
Temp-to-Hire is Becoming Full-Time Practice at Firms
Topic Human Resources Management
Key Words temp-to-hire, flexible workforce, contingent workers, recruiter
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News Story 

Temp-to-hire occurs when a temporary, or contingent, worker is hired on a full-time basis at the company for which they temped. The company is usually required to pay the temp's recruiter a portion of the new salary, since the recruiter brought the employee to the company in the first place. However, many larger companies have incorporated contractual provisions against fee-based conversions.

The practice of temp-to-hire has always existed, but has grown considerably in recent years due to stable economic conditions and a desire for companies to "try before they buy." These days, temps may work in the tech industry or as engineers. Recruiting services, such as Kelly and Manpower, hired more than 11 million temps last year, of which 8 million transitioned into full-time work, although not necessarily with the client's company. Recruiters would prefer not to lose their best workers, but some temps favor short-term assignments, as well as the comparatively higher salary.

In addition, larger corporations actively seek to combine an array of employees (full-time, part-time, contingent, and outsourced) into a flexible workforce. Managers appreciate temps because they don't get involved in office politics and are more likely to focus solely on their job duties. HR managers can work with department managers to create an ideal flexible workforce.

Questions
1.

The article mentions that flexible workforces have become a "strategy" in many companies. Explain the advantages of a multi-service workforce.

2.

How would an HR manager work with department managers to develop a flexible workforce?

Source "Temp-to-Hire is Becoming Full-Time Practice at Firms," Workforce Management June 1, 2005, p. 82.
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