The Difference Between Direct-Hire And Temp-To-Hire Jobs

When an employer needs to address a skilled labor shortage, they often consider two options: temporary and direct hire. This choice is misleading, as there is a third option: temp-to-hire. 

Temp-to-hire jobs are like a hybrid between temporary and direct-hire positions. They allow the employee to get a feel of the company they are working for and the employer to extensively try out the employee. Temp-to-hire is a staffing solution with a typically low-risk, high-reward profile. That is not to say that temp-to-hire placements are always better than direct hires. Your role as an employer is to determine which placement model better fits your company or project. 

Wide Effect wields 60 years of experience staffing temp-to-hire and direct-hire jobs in the Construction, Maritime, Renewable Energy, Safety, and Oil & Gas sectors. To get in touch with our recruiting specialists and discuss how these placement models can fill the labor gaps in your company, call (262) 298-0026 or fill out the online contact form.

What Is A Temp-To-Hire Placement? 

Unlike temporary contracts, temp-to-hire positions are marketed as opportunities for full-time work. They are essentially lengthy trial periods in which both the employee and the employer can gauge each other. 

A temp-to-hire solution is especially advantageous when: 

  • Your project requires expertise that your current staff does not possess: A temp-to-hire worker can be an excellent stopgap measure to help you get a difficult job done. You can then decide whether their skillset is worth keeping in the long run after project completion.
  • A member of your team is taking an extended leave: Your project can grind to a halt if an important staff member becomes unavailable. Hire a provisionary worker to pick up the slack until your permanent employee returns. 
  • You need people to work on your project as soon as possible: Agreeing on a temp-to-hire contract is usually quicker than negotiating a permanent position. Shorter onboarding process means that temp-to-hire workers are perfect for tackling projects with tight deadlines. 
  • You want to learn more about your employees before hiring them permanently: Perhaps your company culture involves a rigorous tryout process for all incoming employees. In that case, a temp-to-hire contract is your best friend. 

Temp-to-hire is not entirely one-sided either. Reasons for candidates to seek out a provisionary contract include:

  • Evaluating company fit: Candidates wary of committing to a company without working for them first are a great fit for temp-to-hire placements. Leaving a permanent position prematurely can be a bad look for the candidate; this is not a concern for temp-to-hire placements. 
  • Diversifying their work experience: Working on a multitude of projects can have a positive effect on a candidate’s portfolio. Ambitious workers may specifically seek temporary positions to broaden their skillset and showcase their versatility. 

What Is A Direct-Hire Placement? 

The traditional hiring method, direct-hire placement involves having the staffing agency source a full-time employee. A direct hire is the best choice when the company needs a position filled permanently. 

Direct-hire placements can be attractive to your company for the following reasons:

  • A larger candidate pool: Some of the best employees have no problem finding and retaining permanent work. They may not settle for anything less than a permanent position. A willingness to offer long-term employment can attract candidates who have not considered your company. 
  • Better integration: Permanent employees are incentivized to gel with your company. Galvanized by the opportunity to grow with you, they are more likely to go the extra mile.
  • Potential costs saving: The costs of constantly hiring temp-to-hire workers can add up quickly. While you may have to pay more upfront to enlist a permanent worker, retaining them in the long-term can be cheaper than finding replacements every few months.  

Choosing Between Temp-To-Hire And Direct-Hire 

The choice between a temp-to-hire worker and a permanent employee can be tricky. Both staffing solutions have their uses. The better choice at a given time is contingent on your understanding of your project and the trajectory of your company. 

The rule of thumb is that temp-to-hire is a more efficient scenario to fill roles quickly or for projects with well-defined start and end dates. Conversely, direct hires are generally more cost-effective if you are certain you will need their talent and skill set for the long term.  

Wide Effect has a proven track record hiring outstanding talent through both staffing solutions. In fact, more than 95% of the temp-to-hire workers we have endorsed have been offered a permanent position by the company that has signed them. Call (262) 298-0026 or fill out the online contact form to see how we can help you build a winning team. 


Which sectors do Wide Effect specialize in? 
Wide Effect specializes in staffing temp-to-hire and direct-hire placements in the Construction, Maritime, Oil & Gas, Renewable Energy, and Safety Personnel sectors. 

What is the difference between a temporary and a temp-to-hire contract?  
A temporary position comes with a mutual understanding that the employment is terminated upon the completion of the contract. A temp-to-hire position implies the possibility for contract renewal or permanent employment upon completion of the contract. 

I am a job seeker. Where can I find open positions that I can apply for?
You can visit our current job postings here



We are the nation's top recruiting force for Construction, Maritime, Renewable Energy, Oil & Gas, and Safety Personnel. If you have staffing challenges at any level- labor to leadership, we have the solution. Connect with our recruiters in all 50 states now and learn more about our staffing blueprint for success.

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