‘Not right now’ really means ‘not right now’
If this is your answer, ask yourself the question – am I OK in this scenario? Can we continue doing this until they are ready to make it official? Or should I start looking for other opportunities? No one can make this decision for you, but whatever you do, don’t start playing games. Don’t take interviews for jobs you aren’t interested in or pretend you have alternative opportunities if you don’t. This passive aggressive behavior might make your contract employer jealous, or worried about your departure, but it’s still not going to force them into hiring you. You are much more likely to alienate them and find yourself without any employment, perm or contract.