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Temp to Hire: How to Negotiate Your Salary Offer Clearly 

By: Emily Newton



Companies and small business owners love to bring in temporary employees. They get the help they need and get to test the waters, so to speak, before deciding to hire someone permanently.  

From your side, the temporary position can help you decide if entrepreneurship is something you’d like to pursue. It’s a great opportunity learn about a specific industry before committing to it, or a great way to cover a gap in your employment before beginning a new business venture. 

Regardless of your position, making the leap from temporary to permanent employment can be a fantastic chance to turn a temp job into something lucrative. If you’re making a move from temp to hire, follow these tips to negotiate your salary offer and make the most of your new position. 

Start With Research 

One thing you don’t want to do is walk into a salary negotiation blind. Do your research by signing up on relevant gig apps and look into average salary rates for the position you’ll be stepping into

Don’t focus your research on the company you want to work for. Instead, broaden your horizons and look into the salary and benefits offered by competitors for similar positions. Include your location and years of experience in this research because these variables can also impact the eventual salary you receive.  

Plan Out Your Argument 

Why should your employer consider giving you the salary you’re asking for? If you’re not ready to answer this question off the top of your head, then it’s time to head back to the drawing board. 

Start by outlining your qualifications, including years of experience and things you’ve done for the company during your time as a temp. Maybe you pioneered a data recovery plan that saved your employer millions or secured a sale that brought in a lot of new income and work. Take those accomplishments and use them to your advantage.  

Working as a temporary employee already gives you a bit of a leg-up over a fresh hire because you already know the job and won’t require any new training. But having a clear understanding of what you can offer your new permanent employer will make negotiating easier. 

Look Into the Benefits Plan 

A higher salary isn’t the only perk of transitioning from temp to hire. Temper your salary expectations with the other benefits you may be eligible for now that you’re a full-time employee. These benefits might include but aren’t limited to: 

  • Health, vision, and dental insurance 
  • Sick days 
  • Vacation times 
  • Bonuses or other incentives 

These benefits might impact your eventual take-home salary, especially for insurance, where you might be responsible for paying a portion of the policy as part of each paycheck. Keep this in mind when choosing your acceptable salary range. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate 

The prevailing perception is that the transition from temp to hire is linear. You must take what the hiring company is willing to offer and be grateful for it.  

But this line of thinking couldn’t be further from the truth, especially if your period as a temp has been positive. Salary negotiation is a skill they don’t teach in school – at least not as a core class – but one that should be required before you’re allowed to enter the workforce. 

Don’t be afraid to negotiate. You probably have more power and influence than you give yourself credit for. 

Start High but Be Flexible 

What’s easier: running uphill or making your way down? You might not be fighting gravity during your salary negotiation, but – especially when it comes to money – you’ll find it’s easier to go down than climb up.  

So, take the highest number that you discovered during your research and start there. You don’t need to drop below your acceptable salary window, but by starting high and working your way down, you don’t have to fight to try and bring the number back up to where you want it to be.  

Make sure you’re flexible here. There are plenty of variables that could impact the salary offer from your employer, from the benefits you’ll now qualify for to the budget they have available for new hires. Sticking to your guns is only a good idea if you’re the one in control. Flexibility will make your negotiation proceed a lot more smoothly. 

Keep the Conversation Moving 

There’s only one thing worse than a flat “no” when you’re working through a salary negotiation: the conversation stalls before they’ve come to a decision. Keeping a conversation moving is as much art as it is science. Work on your conversational skills before you sit down to negotiate.  

Some simple tricks, like asking open-ended questions, can keep things moving forward. Don’t be pushy or aggressive, but do everything you can to keep the conversation ongoing and stimulating. 

Maintain Professional Decorum 

We get it. Being told “no” is frustrating, especially when you’ve been working your hardest and aren’t getting the recognition you feel you deserve.  

No matter how frustrating the situation is or how angry you become, make sure you’re doing everything necessary to maintain some professional decorum. The easiest way to ensure you don’t get the temp-to-hire salary you want is to get angry or lash out at the interviewer. Unprofessional or aggressive behavior is a quick way to find yourself either back on the temp roster or without a job. 

Know Your Worth 

One thing that is easy to overlook in this negotiation talk is perhaps the most important. Don’t forget your worth, even as you negotiate a higher salary for your permanent position. It’s easy to compromise the things that we consider important, such as a work-life balance, in the excitement of a new position or bigger salary. 

You’re a human being too. Don’t compromise that for a bigger paycheck or a new parking space. 

Good Luck! 

The transition from temp to hire can be intimidating, especially if you’ve fallen into believing that you’re only worth what the hiring manager is willing to offer you. Don’t be afraid to negotiate your salary offer. Go into the meeting prepared with research about the average salary for your position and a good idea of what you can offer the company in exchange for this raise.  

Salary negotiation is a skill that, once learned, will serve you well throughout your time in the workforce, regardless of the career or field you choose. 

Published: September 8, 2022

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Emily Newton

Emily Newton is a tech writer who enjoys covering how new technologies impact and improve different industries. She is also Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized, an online magazine dedicated to exploring the latest innovations.

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