Contract, temp to perm, direct hire – What does all of this mean?

As a job seeker, are you unsure of what  job ads are saying? Do you know the difference between the employment types offered? If you don’t, that’s ok. Many current job search candidates don’t know either.

Below are definitions of terms to help you understand what employment ads are actually offering. The definitions are short, general and meant to give you an idea of the types of positions you will see on job boards. You may find some variations with  how other companies define these terms.

Contract
Typically a position that is not permanent, and has a specific time frame attached to it. Contract work might be needed to complete a project, or to cover a permanent employee’s leave of absence. This type of position does not usually offer any benefits. 

Temporary
a.k.a. Temp Work
These are positions ranging from one afternoon, to full time work for up to a year.  The important thing to know is that there is no promise of the position turning into a permanent position with benefits. Often, though, temp positions are extended past the original end date. And sometimes temporary positions can turn into temp to perm positions or open up the door to a full time permanent job later on. A temporary employee is generally considered an employee of the staffing agency and paid by the staffing agency.

Temp To Perm
a.k.a. Right To Hire
These are positions where the employer would like a full time employee, but does not want to commit to a permanent offer up front.  During the temp to hire period, the employee is considered working for the staffing firm and paid by the staffing firm. Clients seeking temp to hire candidates through Emerson are sincere in their desire to hire permanent staff members and not just “kicking tires.”  This can be a benefit to job seekers as well as companies. Read more about how temp to hire can be a benefit in this Emerson Success Story.

Direct Hire
Direct hire positions are permanent, usually full time positions with benefits. A direct hire position is one in which the client company utilizes the staffing company to find the talent, then hires them directly. A candidate offered a direct hire position is not an employee of the staffing company, but goes directly on the client company payroll.

We hope this post helps hone your job seeking skills. Were these definitions helpful? Are there other terms you would like to see defined? Please leave a comment on this post or email me directly. EPG’s goal is to help others become more successful and if we can help, we will.

Posted by Bonnie Jeffers