Posted by Robert Hosking on Friday, July 10, 2015 - 08:00
If you're in the job market right now, take note: The latest government data is promising. OfficeTeam Executive Director Robert Hosking shares what you need to know about hiring trends and how you can turn your summer job into something long-lasting.
Lazy days of summer? There’s no such thing for administrative professionals who provide interim support for employers while core staff are on vacation.
If you’re one of these pros, what do you do if you’re hoping for an endless summer? That is, how can you turn a temporary summer job into an offer of full-time work? Well, if you have the right qualifications — and make the effort to stand out — your summer dreams could well become your future career reality.
It helps that the current hiring environment is ripe with opportunity for skilled professionals. The June jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that hiring in the professional and business services sector continues to be strong; in fact, most of the 1.25 million jobs U.S. employers have added so far this year have been in this sector. Hiring is also trending up in financial services, healthcare and technology.
Here’s a closer look at the latest BLS data, plus some tips on where to look for temp-to-hire opportunities right now and how to increase your chances of receiving a full-time job offer.
Q2 BLS Unemployment Stats
The BLS reports that U.S. employers added 223,000 jobs in June, which means the U.S. economy has now seen 57 straight months of job growth. The current national unemployment rate also edged down to 5.3 percent last month — the lowest rate reported since April 2008.
A number of select administrative and administrative healthcare positions fall below the national unemployment rate, according to job-specific BLS unemployment figures for the second quarter:
- Administrative services managers: 1.3 percent
- First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers: 2.5 percent
- Human resources workers: 2.9 percent
- Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping: 3.0 percent
- Dispatchers: 3.5 percent
- Medical records and health information technicians: 3.7 percent
- Secretaries and administrative assistants: 3.8 percent
- File clerks: 4.9 percent
- Data entry keyers: 5.0 percent
- Customer service representatives: 5.1 percent
Where to Look for Temp-to-Hire Opportunities
Providing vacation coverage is one way for temporary office and administrative support personnel to break in with potential full-time employers, of course. But there are other inroads to consider, such as:
- Helping to prepare for open enrollment: Many employers are already thinking about open enrollment and are planning to add customer service representatives, data entry clerks, benefits specialists and HR assistants.
- Assisting with the end-of-summer rush: The home-buying season typically runs through September, so many management and real estate firms will need additional administrative support for the next few months.
- Filling the intern gap: Summer interns head back to school in August or September, which means some or all of the work they were handling will need to be delegated.
Also, don’t overlook opportunities with recreational services providers and leisure and hospitality companies. Many of these organizations will need extra support to handle the last surge of summer business. Educational institutions also typically experience increased workloads in August and early September — right before the start of the new school year.
Tips for Standing Out
Exceeding expectations and taking the initiative to go beyond your job description are obviously two key ways to help convince an employer that you are indispensable. However, these strategies can help, too:
- Be a team player. If you act like you are part of the team, it will be natural for an employer — and core staff — to view you as part of the team.
- Blend in. It may seem counterintuitive — blending in to stand out. But many employers are taking great care to hire full-time employees who are likely to be a strong fit for the prevailing corporate culture. So, pay close attention to everything from how employees dress to how they typically interact with each other in the office.
- Don’t be a wallflower. Get to know your coworkers and managers. They may have direct influence on whether or not you are hired full time. And if you do secure a long-term job with the organization, you’ll already feel like you’re at home because you’ve taken time to build meaningful relationships with your colleagues.
- Study up. Understand where the company has been and where it is headed. More important, figure out how your skills and attributes can help the business to achieve its objectives.
Lastly, and perhaps most critical, be sure to communicate your interest in being hired full time. Share your professional goals with your coworkers and managers. And let your staffing manager know that you’d like to be considered for any permanent positions with your employer. You might already be handling a role that needs a full-time employee — but you won’t know unless you ask.
Summer will be over before you realize. Take steps now to ensure the sun doesn’t set on a potential full-time job opportunity for the fall.
- How to Dazzle Employers With Your Temp Work Experience
- 6 Easy Ways to Take Your Job From Temp to Hire