If you’re on the job hunt and looking for a new position, you’re probably noticing there are a variety of job types available. Not only are there part-time and full-time positions, but also employment types such as “contract”, “contract to hire” and “temporary to permanent”. Which job type should you be applying for? Today we’re discussing the different employment types and the purpose of each one.

Full-Time Positions

Full-time positions are straight forward and generally the most common. Full-time hours are hours greater than 35 per week (or otherwise specified by the employer) but typically are 40-hours/week. One perk of being a full-time employee is the eligibility for a large number of benefits such as paid time off, sick days, holidays, medical and health insurance, 401k, etc. This position is paid by the employer either by hourly or salary, but their position is derived from full-time hours. This can also vary if you work a flexible work schedule – and can be paid by tasks, and projects, instead of hours. A full-time job should possess the ability to support your basic living needs.

Part-Time Positions

Part-time positions are classified as a position where you work less than 35-40 hours/week. They can be picked up in addition to a full-time job, while schooling, being a stay at home parent, or simply by choice of a desire for more work-life balance. Part-time workers are often paid slightly less because of the less committed timeframe. Generally, if you choose to work part-time, the number of benefits that are offered to you are limited. However, one perk of working part-time is that you are not committed to a full day of work and generally this position is more based on interest – than a need.

Direct Hire / Permanent

Direct hire/Permanent positions are offered if the company is looking for a long-term employee. There is no set time period of the position, so it is indefinite until the employee is let go or leaves the company. Because this position requires more commitment, the hiring process can be lengthier. Companies want to ensure they’re choosing the right candidate for the job in the hopes to contribute to the overall purpose of the company and mesh well in company culture. Permanent employees are also eligible for benefits such as medical, healthcare, dental, vision, retirement, paid time off, etc. If a permanent employee is hired through a recruiter, they are added to the company’s payroll on their starting date.

Contract / Temporary

With a contract or temporary position, there is a specific start and end date. The purpose of these roles is generally to fill in for a full-time employee temporarily, or if an employee is looking to hire for project assistance. The length of this position varies from a few days to a couple of years. Contract or temporary employees are often paid by the hour and don’t receive the same company benefits that permanent employees do. One perk of a contract/temporary position is that the hiring process is quick because the positions are time-sensitive – which creates a faster turn around time for applying and starting a new position.

Contract to Hire / Temp to Perm

Contract to hire/temporary to permanent positions is a combination of both contract and permanent, with a few exceptions. The contract period can last for a certain length of time with the guarantee of a permanent position immediately following. However, the contract period may not end up resulting in a permanent position. This type of employment acts as a “trial period” whether their position is of need long term, or if the hiring is a success. After that period, the company will opt to proceed with, or end the employment.

One perk of this type of employment is the employee can use this as a trial as well – if there is a discussion between the company the employee that the “trial period” is suited for both the employee and the employer, the employee may feel less pressure knowing they are not 100% committed. This should be discussed with the recruiting firm or the employer and what determines the hiring possibilities.


What employment types have you had before?