Commentary: Making Temporary Employment Part of a Job-Hunting Strategy

Article excerpt

Bridging the gap between college and career is the goal of every ambitious graduate. You've spent years preparing for this crucial moment when commencement ends and real life begins.

However, real life often favors employers, and you are competing with those who have been downsized, are making the jump to a different career or are re-entering the job market after a lengthy absence.

How, then, do you compete?

Unfortunately for recent graduates, most employers are looking for candidates with job experience, which is a Catch-22 - you can't get the job because you don't have experience and you don't have experience because you can't get the job.

There is a very simple solution, and it comes in the form of temporary and contract employment.

Temporary/contract employment involves registering with a staffing firm to work in short-term positions for a business with pressing employment needs. The American Staffing Association estimates that nearly 40 percent of temporary positions lead to full- time jobs, making temporary/contract employment an effective part of a job-hunting strategy.

The staffing industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States, employing more than 2 million people a day. According to the American Staffing Association, staffing services helped move more than 5 percent of the current work force into jobs.

This increasing use of temporary workers makes it an ideal option for college graduates for many reasons.

First, and possibly most important, temporary/contract work allows you to "get your foot in the door" at businesses that may not be hiring full-time personnel.

And, with the trend of downsizing expected to continue, businesses are often hesitant to add full-time employees. Temporary/ contract work places you in a position to be in the right place at the right time when a company does decide to add to its core staff.

If you do choose temporary/contract work as a part of your overall search strategy, you may be placed at a business on an "evaluation hire" basis. This staffing strategy allows both parties the time - usually 90 days - to evaluate the employment situation without long-term obligations.

In addition to getting your foot in the door, temporary and contract positions offer you the chance to experience different businesses, industries and jobs before committing to one organization. …