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Temp-to-Perm – The Best of Both Worlds?

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Finding the right fit in a new employee is difficult at any company. Particularly in accounting and financial industries, which require technical knowledge, more businesses are utilizing temporary-to-permanent, or temp-to-perm, employees in order to help meet their staffing needs. While this hiring tactic may not work for every situation, most employers do bring great candidates for a trial period and ultimately hire them. For employers who choose the temp-to-perm route, here are a few tips and pitfalls to avoid:

1. Document everything. If the new hire is taking over a prior position, clearly define the role to the new candidate and follow existing procedures before making changes to the processes. Remember to document everything while the candidate is on board in case the candidate does not stay for the ''perm'' part of the agreement.

2. Do not stop the permanent candidate search. Until the employee is permanent, do not stop looking. Having more candidate options helps to define the role and provide different views on the same issues. Also, don't forget that some temp-to-perm candidates do not stop their own searches while they are temporary with your company. Remember to ask them if they are still searching.

3. Cover yourself. Be cautious about giving out passwords for secured resources, such as online banking and internal systems. Only use company-provided equipment and back up work on a daily basis.

4. Constant and frequent communication is critical. More often than not, employers train a new employee and send the person to do the job in a static environment. Don't hand off communication to outside parties such as auditors, taxing authority, or banking contacts without working alongside or monitoring the process closely.

5. Do not skimp on costs. Some organizations choose not to perform proper reference and background checks on temp-to-perm employees. However, companies that complete a full screening, which includes checking social security numbers, educational and employment statements, and criminal backgrounds, may be able to avoid potential problems. Proper screening can also prevent lost productivity of those training new hires. Be aware that some candidates utilize temp-to-perm job opportunities because their background checks are not pretty.

The use of professional services like a business consulting firm may help employers work with temp-to-perm employees. Business consulting firms can help by defining the role of the candidate within the organization; documenting the job; assisting in recruiting the candidate; and helping with the transition of the new employee.

In addition, a business consulting firm can work with the current staff to help determine what position is really missing. Perhaps there is an imbalance of work among the current staff, or someone from within the organization wants to move around or move up. These are good times to re-evaluate the organization and diagnose any issues.

About the author:
Jonathon Stapp is a project manager for Lyndon Group serving in the Financial Project Management & Consulting practice as well as the Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance, Audit Preparation and Internal Control Outsourcing services. Stapp's experience has spanned numerous industries including automotive, real estate, Internet gaming, software development, professional services as well as information technology. He can be contacted at 949-494-7722.
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