There are times when employers only wish to hire individuals for a short period of time. They do so for several reasons, such as attempting to determine the longevity of a project or giving people a “trial run” for a role with lots of responsibilities.
When employers decide to make contract roles permanent positions, they will typically ask contractors to follow an interview process if they express a desire to stay on permanently.
The trouble is that some contractors only extend their employment until a new contract role elsewhere that interests them becomes available.
As an employer, you don’t want to devote your time and effort to interviewing contractors and hiring them permanently if they were only ever planning to “jump ship” in the future when something better comes along that piques their interest.
That’s why it’s important not to convert a contractor into a permanent employee without asking the right questions first. The following illustrates some of the best interview questions for a contractor to permanent employee conversion:
Best Questions to Ask Contractors Wishing to Become Full-Time Employees
Why Do You Want To Work Here Permanently?
This may seem obvious, but it’s a critical question to ask. Anyone seeking to turn a contract position into a permanent position will undoubtedly invite any temporary team members to apply for permanent versions of their jobs before advertising the role externally.
Hiring managers will want to satisfy themselves that those contractors aren’t just “buying time” until a better contract job elsewhere comes along. That’s why it makes sense to be direct and ask those contractors why they want to work there permanently.
Those hiring managers and anyone involved in the interview process can determine where their real motivations lie from a contractor’s response and body language.
What Are Your Plans For The Future?
When you ask a contract employee what their plans are for the future, you do so because you want to prove their ambition and the scope of their career planning.
In essence, what you’re doing is questioning the contractor’s commitment to your business and determining whether their future growth plans will directly benefit your company or not.
Suppose the contractor’s career goals don’t directly translate to things that can improve their work at your establishment. In that case, they’re likely seeking to improve themselves so they can get a different contract role elsewhere.
What Have Been Your Achievements Here?
As part of your interview processes for contractor to permanent employee conversions, you want to determine what a contract worker has done during their tenure at your business and if they’re a high achiever.
It’s not a good idea to consider permanently taking on contract workers with long term contracts if they’re no good at what they do.
When you ask someone what their top achievements at your organisation have been to date, you’re trying to establish how they’ve benefited your business.
What Do You Like/Dislike About Your Role?
Another question designed to find out more about a contractor before giving them a full-time offer is what they like and dislike the most about their work.
As an employer, you want to learn more about that person’s specific interests in their work at your business and what new skills they’ve learnt since working for you.
It’s not necessarily a “trick” question, but it could cause some people to slip up and reveal their true feelings towards their job or your company.
Why Don’t You Want To Be A Contractor Elsewhere?
These days, employers worry more about staff retention than ever before due to The Great Resignation – people quitting their jobs due to concerns like COVID-19, low salaries, and more freedom to choose new work because of financial help from the government.
Another direct question you can ask a contractor is why aren’t they interested in getting another contract role elsewhere. Depending on how they respond, their answer will either reassure or dissuade you that they’re an asset to your firm.
What Are You Looking For In An Employer?
Last but not least, asking contractors what they’re looking for in an employer can indicate whether you are both still an excellent professional match or not.
For example, suppose your business is somewhat traditional, and the contractors are looking to work for a creative, forward-thinking organisation. In that case, they might not be a good fit for your firm’s corporate culture and values.
A Few Final Thoughts on Questioning Contractors About Converting to a Permanent Job
When interviewing for a regular full-time job, a hiring manager aims to establish whether an interviewee is a good fit for the job description and your company. When interviewing someone who has previously worked as a contractor, there is more to consider. Not least, can they commit to a regular work schedule, or will they get itchy feet in three months?
That is not to say that employers should never hire former contractors into permanent positions. On the contrary, constantly chasing your next opportunity and the stress of filing tax returns can get tiring for some people. In that case, over time, full-time employee benefits such as a retirement plan, health insurance or life insurance might become highly appealing.
It is not uncommon for people who have previously worked as contractors to accept permanent job offers. Indeed, the wealth of experience and expertise they have to offer as permanent employees makes them highly attractive candidates. However, it’s understandable that employers will want to test their motivations before making them a permanent offer.