Contract to Hire…Do I have to Accept the Full Time Position?

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I’ve seen a consistent increase in the request for contract to hire positions this year.  Firms are adding language to their service agreements to allow clients to extend an offer for permanent full time positions to consultants after 90 days of contracting.  Clients are using firms to find resources who are open to relocating and becoming a full time employee of the hospital.  It’s really a win win scenario for both the client and consultant.  The question is, if you accept a contract to hire role…do you have to accept the full time position?

I suggest candidates take these types of offers seriously and not waste anyone’s time if they are not truly interested in relocating or taking a reduced salary.  Too many times I see candidates begin the interview process but when it comes time to accept the offer, they turn it down.  Realize that these opportunities are meant to fill a permanent position and will come with a salary associated with being a FTE, not a contractor.  My suggestion is ask right away the terms of employment including relocation reimbursement (if any), firm to client transition time frame agreement, and expected salary.

That first 90 days is the time for you to begin planning your transition, including relocating.  Terms of your employment are typically agreed upon prior to you starting.  Timing on the transition may vary based on the firm’s agreement with the client.  Typically it’s 90 days, but may be less.  Regardless, once you’ve accepted and started, it is expected that you will accept the terms of employment and become a FTE at the end of agreement.  So my advice is simple…do not accept a contract to hire role unless you are 100% committed to accepting the full time position.

A couple more thoughts on variations of contract to hire.  Not all hospitals will make a full time offer before you start your contract.  In fact, many won’t offer information on salary prior to starting either. That first 90 days may be considered a trial period to determine if your skill set aligns with the position.  Your firm should know this is the expectation ahead of time, so you are fully aware a full time offer may not result from the contract.  You should also know that it is becoming more common to hear from clients that they want direct to hire candidates.  That situation obviously is much different…but worth mentioning.

Have you taken a contract to hire position?  Share your thoughts in the comments field below.

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