It used to be that temporary workers-people who can fill in for employee absences or an uptick in workload-were primarily secretaries and file clerks. But today they fill a myriad of positions across the spectrum of business. According to Krisi Rossi O'Donnell, VP of staffing and recruiting at LaSalle Network, a staffing firm headquartered in Chicago, the talent market is one in which temporary employees have plenty of opportunities to be hired directly and will leave a position if they can get a permanent gig somewhere else. So, it's in your best interest to convert a temp into an employee sooner rather than later. Here are the clues the time is now.

1. The temp is excelling in his role.

The person delivers on tasks, executes on the job as you intended, meets deadlines and works efficiently. "I'm talking about the person who has proven to you that they can do the job well with limited mistakes, and that they ask for a little bit more and are over-delivering," she says.

2. The temp performs beyond the job description.

He helps peers with work outside of his strict role and stays late when needed. "They're finding ways to show initiative and dedication not just to their job or their careers, but to the team as a whole," she says.

3. The temp is hungry to learn.

He may have been hired to answer phones but in the meantime takes an interest in the business and the industry it operates within. "They're seeking to understand more than just their job," she says.

4. The temp builds relationships with other quality employees.

He has friends at the company who are positive influences, meaning they're productive and good at what they do. "They're unafraid to try to introduce themselves to that group, as opposed to the person who is only hanging out with... low-level staff," she says.

5. The temp takes his work seriously and understands how it affects the company.

For example, Rossi O'Donnell says the office assistants at Lasalle Network understand the company's priority of not making clients wait on the phone. "From a customer service perspective they will literally run through the office to find the person that our clients are calling for because they know it's important to us," she says.

6. The temp genuinely wants to be part of the company.

You can gauge this by listening to the questions they ask. Instead of asking what needs to be done, they seek to understand why certain tasks are performed. While it may be tempting to gravitate toward task-oriented people, those who ask "why" questions may be higher quality talent long term.

7. The temp is flexible and open.

He jumps at the chance for a new opportunity, even if it's not something he has experience with. "The person who's really open to doing anything that the company needs in order to make it better is somebody to take note of," she says.