temporary employee wearing suit

For employers and job-seekers alike, understanding the language used within the staffing industry can be challenging. Variations of temporary, contract, temp-to-hire, and contract-to-hire are frequent and sometimes even used interchangeably. However, there are distinct differences and it is critical that job seekers and employers understand what makes each employment model unique.


The duration of a temporary position lasts anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks. When companies are faced with an employee absence or an unpredictable workload, temp employees are the best option for that time. Typically, temps are hired with no defined duration and paid hourly to grant businesses the flexibility they need and are not stuck in an employment contract when the work slows down. Temp options are common in call center, office management, and administrative positions. Short-term workers are even brought into retail environments if there is a one-day, weekend, or week-long busy period such as a big sale. 

When working with a stellar temp agency, temps are brought in fast and are able to work productively. Additionally, the agency takes care of onboarding and payment—a hassle-free process that allows managers to focus on their own jobs.

recruiter looking for contract employees online
two contract engineers on the job


Contract roles, on the other hand, have a set duration for which the employee will be working. When a permanent employee is taking parental leave, when there is a seasonal busy period, or for a long-term project, contract employees are the best option. Contract roles are common throughout many industries and work environments—they range from retail managers needed for the holiday season to an expert chemical engineer who is only needed for a 3-month project. 

Because contractors work for longer durations and sometimes require a specialized set of skills, it is important that businesses select a staffing firm that has experience filling similar roles. Contract employees can have a significant impact on the project and the company, so the right candidate should be carefully selected.


Temp-to-hire is the best option for businesses that are experiencing rapid growth. When companies need help fast, but aren’t sure if they need that help permanently, temp-to-hire provides the flexibility that they need. Employers can successfully scale at the rate they need without hastily making permanent hires. 

When working with a top-notch temp agency, the agency recruiters communicate the employment possibilities with temp-to-perm candidates to ensure that all parties are on the same page. This process allows companies to be matched with the ideal talent they need and for a seamless transition if the company decides to hire the professional permanently or end the contract.

recruiter interviewing contract employees

At Search Solution Staffing, our experienced team of account managers and recruiters can outline the possibilities in more detail and help companies determine the right model based on their current, unique needs. For all 3 employment models, our staffing experts do all of the work—we find the talent, onboard the employees, and handle their payroll. Reach out to Search Solution Staffing to learn more about how we can find the professionals that your business needs.