Temp-to-Hire Recruiting Strategies are Here to Stay!

Temp-to-Hire Recruiting Strategies are Here to Stay!

by Jeanne Knutzen | April 26, 2016

0 Best Practices /Flexible Staffing, Call Center Staffing, Employer Reviews, HIRING. EMPLOYEE SELECTION, LOCAL NEWS, EMPLOYMENT AND STAFFING TRENDS, Temp-to-Hire Auditions!, Temp-to-Hire Staffing, Temporary and Contract Staffing

Try it buy itThe “Try Before You Buy” Staffing Model is proving to be a recruiting model here to stay – even as the War for Talent heats up for Northwest employers.

PACE Staffing Network is fully entrenched in this trend.  Recruiting candidates for Temp to Hire auditions is one of our most popular staffing services with many of our clients relying exclusively on our “temporary employees” as their source of new hires.  

We have learned how to find and select temporary employees who are actually good fits for our clients long term. 

For many of our clients, our temp to hire staffing programs are used as a way to contain their recruiting costs, making all those employees who are part of their flexible workforce a key component of a more comprehensive workforce development strategy.  The PACE recruiting team who supplies these client’s temporary employees who are eventually hired, actually eliminates the need for our clients to hire 1-2 additional recruiters just to keep up with day to day staffing needs.

Check out this example of a new PACE client who recently opened a 50 person call center in a location south of Seattle.  they used the temp to hire model as a solution for both a recruiting and strategic challenge.

Our team recognized quickly that this client had all the trappings of becoming an A+ employer in the Puget Sound.  While headquartered on the East Coast, their mission involved all of the elements important to our local market – quality staff, quality processes, and quality technology.  Understanding the direct impact of agent turnover on their ability to deliver the quality service mandated by their mission, they had already mastered many of the temp to hire HR practices in their other facilities and using that model were producing one of the highest rates of employee retention in the customer service industry, an important metric for call centers everywhere

This clients challenge in Seattle was to hire and train a large number of service agents quickly, while avoiding the high costs of early-term employee turnover.  They needed a workforce that was flexible enough to handle a somewhat unpredictable level of call volumes, but planned up front to spend the time needed for training.  Worse case they were  over staffed for brief periods as they anticipated future call volumes.   Best case, they got big pay offs for being so clearly focused on hiring the best.  The temp to hire auditioning process was the perfect solution for all these goals and concerns.

They had full access to the  quick and resourceful recruiting power of PACE’s recruiting team, which they used to supplement their own recruiting resources.  If they found an employee on their own, rather than bring them on as a direct hire, they used a temporary staffing company to payroll service them until such time as they knew they wanted to hire.  In the end, they wanted  a fully flexible recruiting model that could move quickly, while maintaining an uncompromising focus on employee quality.

Tricky?  Not at all.  For companies’ already comfortable using temporary workers, it’s just an added twist in their temporary staffing model to make it easy for them to hire a vendor’s employee when the timing is right.

Most call centers use the temp to hire staffing strategy….

  • To onboard large numbers of employees quickly;
  • To use  on the job performance as a selection tool to ensure that they make the right investments in long term staff;
  • To enhance their ability to adjust core staffing costs in ways that aligns their costs with call volume forecasts;
  • To give potential new hires an opportunity to “check them out” before saying the final “I DO’s” – one of the important components of their low turnover strategy.

Many of our temp to hire clients come to us with already thought thru “how tos”, but for readers less experienced with this model of recruiting, here are some of the “how tos” we think are most important.

Think through the factors that would help you determine the right staffing mix for your team or company.  Consider….

  1. Your seasonal or short-term needs for short term employees
  2. Your longer term plans to grow (or shrink) the size of your team
  3. Your rate of turnover – how long are you retaining your core employees.
  4. The full costs (wages, taxes, benefits, etc.) of a core employee.  Know what a core employee actually costs your company, over and above their base rate of pay.
  5. Your internal recruiting capacity – how much will it cost to recruit on your own?  How long it will take?
  6. The availability of talent willing to accept a temp to hire staffing process.

You can use all these factors to come up with a rough guess as to the right mix of full, part-time, and contingent (always auditioning) employees.    Many of our “temp to hire” clients keep 5-10% of their teams in temporary or auditioning mode at all times as a way to minimize the impact of unwanted turnover.  Other temp to hire clients are growing so fast that 25-50% of their workforce is in some stage of a temporary/auditioning role.  They are using our temporary recruiting resources as a way to staff up or down quickly in a rapidly growing or changing marketplace.

The call center client mentioned above, opened their call center with a mix of 80% temps, 20% core employees transferred here from other call centers. After 6 months of auditioning and hiring, today 30% of their total call center agents are in temporary /auditioning roles, while closer to 70% are now core.


 The team at the PACE Staffing Network are experts at temp to hire staffing strategies.  We can help you custom design a temp to hire staffing or recruiting program that works specifically for your team and its hiring needs.  For a complimentary consultation, contact a member of our Partnership Development team at infodesk@pacestaffing.com or call us at 425-637-3311. Jeanne Knutzen


This article was written by Jeanne Knutzen, founder and CEO of the PACE Staffing Network, a leading Northwest based staffing company who has been helping  local employers find and hire high-talent employees for over 40 years.  For additional ideas and information on how you can tackle the current talent marketplace and hire the  temporary, contract or permanent employees you need – when you need them,  contact the PACE team at 425-637-3312 or email us at  infodesk@pacestaffing.com

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