Bridge Insights

Temp-to-Hire and Direct Hire Positions: Here’s What you Need to Know

Jan 28, 2020

Trying to decide between a temp-to-hire or direct hire opportunity? Whether you are a job seeker or an employer looking to hire new talent, it is important for you to understand the differences between temp-to-hire and direct hire positions.


In a temp-to-hire role, a candidate will work at a company on a temporary basis with the intent of being hired on as a permanent employee after a certain amount of time. Even though a candidate will be working at the assigned company during this “temporary” period, they are technically an employee of the staffing agency that matched them to this role.

A temp-to-hire format is a little bit like test driving a car; employers and job seekers alike find a temp-to-hire format to be beneficial because it allows both parties this is a good match for them. With temp-to-hire roles, the process of placing people is typically faster than other employment formats, so if you’re looking for a job quickly or need to fill a position fast, this option may be right for you.

For job seekers, a temp-to-hire position is a good way to try a new opportunity before committing to a permanent placement. It gives you a stable position with the opportunity for a career, but you can make sure it is the right fit for you before you accept a permanent job offer.

As an employer, a temp-to-hire position allows you to determine if an employee is a good match before hiring them onto your payroll, minimizing risk and overhead losses. Businesses also find value in this structure because the recruiting firm handles many of the administrative tasks associated with hiring –saving the organization time and money.

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Direct Hire

In a direct hire role, an employer’s staffing agency will help them find top-quality talent that they would otherwise have missed. In this hiring model, candidates are on an employer’s payroll from Day 1. Because of this, employers can use their company benefits in a more meaningful way to attract applicants to their position than they otherwise would be able to.

Candidates who prefer a direct hire structure of employment tend to choose this path for the sense of stability and certainty this format brings; although they may still have some apprehension about the position, the opportunity to “try” the job first isn’t the top priority.

Employers who are looking for applicants from the more passive section of the talent pool tend toward a direct hire structure as well. Passive applicants are those who are currently employed but are open to new opportunities, so the idea of a direct hire position is more appealing to them.

Similarly, employers who are looking to fill a niche job with very specific requirements often find a direct hire structure to be the most effective way to fill their open positions. This is because qualified candidates for these roles have a very specialized skillset and, thus, the idea of trying out the responsibilities of the role isn’t particularly necessary for candidate or employer.

Placing candidates in a direct hire role tends to take more time than a temp-to-hire placement timeline, and this can be a turn-off to some employers and job seekers alike. Although direct hire positions are a bit more intensive up front, once a job offer has been accepted, applicants and employers can hit the ground running.

Working in an At-Will State

All 50 states in the US (plus Washington D.C.) operate under what is known as at-will employment. This means that either employee or employer can end the employment relationship at any time, for any or no reason –with a few exceptions. What this means for job seekers is that in terms of day-to-day responsibilities, direct hire and temp-to-hire positions aren’t all that different. What makes the difference is how well company culture and training programs set up new employees for success –so be sure to ask the right questions during your interview.

[blockquotes color=”highlight” logo=”yes”]Still not sure which employment model is right for you?
Speak with a Bridge teammember for more information


Whether you prefer a temp-to-hire or direct hire employment format, at Bridge we work hard to make sure each one of our placements is successful. We pride ourselves in our ability to match candidates with positions that match their personality, experience and desired job format. Additionally, we provide our clients with unique and successful staffing solutions that delivered successful results for over 30 years.