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temp to hire vs direct hire

Temp-to-Hire vs. Direct Hire: Which is Right for You?

When it comes to hiring strategies, companies often find themselves choosing between temp-to-hire and direct hire. While both approaches can bring great value to organizations, each has unique benefits and challenges. Understanding these differences can help you make better decisions about your next hiring move.

What is Temp-to-Hire?

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Temp-to-hire is a staffing arrangement in which an employee is hired on a temporary basis with the possibility of becoming a permanent employee after a trial period. This setup enables both employers and employees to assess each other's suitability before committing long-term. 

Employers can evaluate the candidate's skills, work ethic, and fit within the team, while employees can showcase their capabilities and determine if the company aligns with their career goals. Regular communication and performance evaluations are key during this period. 

If successful, the temporary employee may receive a permanent job offer, solidifying their position within the organization. Overall, temp-to-hire offers flexibility and risk mitigation for employers while providing potential career opportunities for employees.

Benefits of Temp-to-Hire

More Informed Hiring Decisions

Temp-to-hire allows employers to assess a candidate's performance and fit within the company culture before extending a permanent offer. They can assess the candidate’s skills in a real-world situation instead of only on paper.

A temp-to-hire situation also helps determine if the job aligns with the employee’s career goals and values. An employee who makes it through a trial period and accepts a permanent job offer is more likely to be excited about the role, not just taking the job until something better comes up.


Temp-to-hire can significantly reduce the financial risks associated with recruitment. Companies can save money on benefits and other costs if the employee does not transition to a permanent role. Temp-to-hire arrangements can sometimes help employers reduce the high costs associated with replacing a bad hire.

Challenges of Temp-to-Hire


Most job seekers would rather have a guaranteed permanent position than a temp role with no security. Hiring on a temp-to-hire basis can make your job openings less appealing and lead to uncertainty for the workers who do apply. 

Top-performing candidates may be less likely to apply if they think they can get a direct-hire job and all the security that comes with it. The candidates who do apply may be reluctant to fully commit to a job when their employer is reluctant to fully commit to them. Some temporary hires may leave before their trial period ends if they find a more stable opportunity.

Contract Fees

Using a staffing agency for temp-to-hire roles often comes with contract fees that can add to hiring costs. Instead of paying for recruitment fees only, you may have to pay ongoing temp agency fees throughout the trial period and then pay the full recruitment fee after the trial ends.

What is Direct Hire?

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Direct hire is a recruitment process where a candidate is hired directly by the company without a trial period. The individual becomes a permanent employee immediately after passing the selection process, often with full benefits and a stable position.

Unlike temp-to-hire arrangements, there is no interim period for evaluation. This model is advantageous for companies seeking to fill permanent positions quickly and efficiently or to attract the best candidate. 

Most candidates prefer the security of immediate employment and comprehensive benefits. Direct hire offers a straightforward pathway to long-term employment without the uncertainty of a trial period, so job seekers are more likely to apply for these types of job openings.

Benefits of Direct Hire

Stability and Long-Term Commitment

Since direct hire provides candidates with immediate stability and commitment, employers often see increased job satisfaction and engagement. Morale is often higher at companies that hire directly instead of requiring a temp period.

Appealing to Highly Skilled and Talented Individuals

Many skilled professionals prefer direct hire roles due to the long-term stability and comprehensive benefits. This type of hiring improves the employer’s reputation as a stable workplace and works especially well for attracting experienced professionals.

Challenges of Direct Hire

Higher Costs and Resource Intensity

Direct hire requires significant investment in recruitment, onboarding, and benefits. Since there are heavier consequences for hiring the wrong employee, you may need to invest more time and effort into the selection process.

Direct hiring also comes with full onboarding expenses. In some cases, a temp agency will train a temp-to-hire employee. With direct hiring, companies must invest in training and onboarding new hires.

Limited Information

Direct hire doesn’t give you as much information about an employee as temp-to-hire before you have to make a commitment. Without seeing a candidate in action, it’s harder to evaluate their suitability for the job. Companies risk hiring candidates who may not be a perfect fit.

When to Choose Temp-to-Hire

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Temp-to-hire is best suited for situations where a company needs to fill a role quickly but wants to ensure the candidate is a good fit before making a long-term commitment. It's ideal for:

  • Seasonal or Project-Based Work: Temporary employees can help handle fluctuations in workload.
  • Evaluating Culture Fit: Employers can assess whether a candidate aligns with the company culture.
  • Filling Temporary Skill Gaps: Temp-to-hire can provide immediate expertise without a long-term obligation.

When to Choose Direct Hire

Direct hire is preferable when a company seeks to attract top talent for key positions that require a long-term commitment. It works best for:

  • Critical Roles: Direct hire is typically essential for senior management and specialized positions.
  • High-Level Skills: Talented professionals often prefer direct hire roles.
  • Employee Retention: Companies focused on retention should offer stability through direct hire.

The Best Choice For Your Company

Both temp-to-hire and direct hire have distinct advantages and challenges. The right choice depends on your organization's specific needs and priorities. 

By understanding the benefits and challenges of each approach, employers can optimize their recruitment strategies for the job requirements.

Ready to Find Your Next Employee?

LG Resources is here to help you find the perfect employee, whether temp-to-hire or direct hire. Fill out our form to request an employee, and we’ll start your candidate search.


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