While you are working through a temporary employment agency, you may be offered a temp-to-hire position. These positions place you with a single company for an extended period of time to allow both you and the company to assess whether you would be a good permanent fit for each other. While many drivers think a permanent position may be able to offer better benefits and more secure work than a temporary agency can offer, there are five questions you need to ask yourself before transitioning out of your temporary position.
What Is the Company's Employment History?
The entire trucking industry tends to have a high turnover rate, which was at 92% in the first quarter of 2014. This is because many drivers stay at one company for a few weeks or a month before leaving to find a different company to work for.
When you are considering working permanently for a company, you want to find one that has a comparatively low turnover rate, which means that they are able to retain their employees for a longer period of time. You will also want to consider whether the company is growing, and whether they outsource the majority of their work to temp agencies or utilize their own drivers. This history gives you an idea of who your co-workers will be and what your working conditions might be like.
You should remember that while you are looking for a low turnover rate in a company, the ideal company will be looking for a solid work history from you. Spending more time with a temporary placement agency will allow you to try several companies without filling your resume with short-term jobs.
How Much Freedom Will You Lose?
Many temporary employment agencies allow you to turn down undesirable jobs without retaliation. You can select when you are available to work, and when you want to go on a long-term vacation; you can simply take your name off of the roster of available drivers. Of course, your pay and benefits will be affected by how much you are able to work, but you usually will not lose your position if you work fewer days.
Alternatively, once you sign a full-time contract with a single company, you may have less choice over when you work and which routes you will drive. You may be put on the same route over and over again, or you may have to work on holidays and weekends, with negative consequences if you are unavailable. You should make sure you know these rules for the company you are thinking about signing a contract with, and decide whether you are ready to give up the freedom of choice a temporary employment agency can offer you.
Do You Agree With the Company's Policies and Schedule?
Some companies insist drivers drive in teams. Others prefer solo drivers. Some companies have more morning dispatches and other companies have evening or late-night dispatches. This can affect when you are able to pick up shipments and what your sleep schedule will look like. It is important to get experience with this through a temporary agency before deciding to work full-time for a company.
Is This Company the Best Fit for You?
While you may be happy with an offer for a permanent position, you should consider whether it is the best offer with the best company for you. You should consider trying out several other companies through a temporary agency before settling on a single company to work for.
Will You Maintain Your Relationship With Your Temporary Agency?
With the high turnover rate of truck drivers, there is a high possibility that you may leave the company and need temporary work in the future. It is important that you maintain your positive relationship with your temporary agency by giving them proper notice that you will be switching to a permanent position.
Switching from a temporary agency to a permanent position can be a good career move for a truck driver. However, it is important that you make the most of your time at a temporary agency by using it to research potential employers and develop positive relationships with them.