Monday, December 20, 2010

Consider Contract Employees in 2011

As a technical recruiter at HRU, Technical Resources, and a cooking/baking obsessed lady in Lansing, Michigan, I wanted to create a blog that reflects all of my passions.  Please check out my first HR related blog entry in this blog!

Recently at ERE, Dr. John Sullivan wrote an extensive article focused on “What’s Wrong with Reference Checking?” that had a side note on the benefits of hiring employees first on a temporary basis.  Dr. Sullivan argues that reference checks are not a solid indicator of current and future performance due to a wide range of variables.  The questions reference checks ask are not always good indicators of performance (job title, dates of employment, personality traits).  Work environments will not be the same from one department to another, much less from one company to another.  Hiring employees on a temporary basis as contractors can provide a more complete view of how an employee will function in your company’s unique environment.  

As we finish out 2010 and begin to enter Q1 of 2011, most companies are winding down for the season.  While the entire company is wrapping things up and shutting down, the corporate HR team is frantically ironing out the last bits of a staffing plan for 2011. 
Not only is choosing to add headcount a concern, but so too is recruiting top talent to the organization.  The economy in Michigan is beginning to pick up – slowly but surely – as we have companies like Chrysler hiring 1,000 additional workers in 2011.  While the unemployment rate across the nation is still high, we are beginning to see organizations add employees.  The market is about to become more competitive.  People are receiving offers from multiple organizations – how will you stay competitive this year, while ensuring that you find the top performing candidates for your company?

One solution to both of these issues; attracting top talent and ensuring that you have hired high performing individuals, is to work with a staffing company to hire contract workers.  Corporate recruiters do not always have the time and resources to dedicate to lengthy sourcing and hunting efforts.  Many companies simply cannot afford to purchase access to resume databases, take time to post to college websites, or develop their networks to find the right person for the job.  You're working on keeping your current employees happy and ensuring all of the other parts of the HR world are kept in balance!  

Working with a staffing firm can help to streamline the very best candidates directly to your try and find and less to review and screen out, as the staffing agency has already done that part for you.

An outstanding technical recruiting team will work with you to really understand the cultural fit at your company, how you would like the interview process to be run, and fully comprehend your time frame and on-boarding process.  You should be able to treat an agency recruiter as your dedicated recruiter/hunter.  If you are not getting this level of service from your current agency, consider exploring your options!

When you have identified a candidate that you would like to bring on board to your company you can do so on a contract basis.  This allows you a unique opportunity to discover whether or not this individual is the perfect person for the job with as little risk to your company as possible.  Hiring someone directly does not allow you this freedom!  With a good staffing agency, this person is still receiving benefits and a good pay wage, it is simply a chance for both of you to test each other out and ensure a good fit.  

Would you propose to marry someone you had never taken out for coffee or to your favorite local restaurant?  Not very likely – hiring contractors is a great way to “date” an employee before you decide to fully invest and offer that “engagement ring” of a direct position.  Staffing companies can provide a wide range of options include six month contract to direct positions, long term contract (with the potential to hire that individual directly at any time), and they can also assist with direct-hire opportunities.

Companies are adding to their headcount, but they are doing so after taking the time to ensure the person is needed.  It is critical that positions are absolutely necessary before a requisition is created.  With all of the time, effort, and money that go into ensuring a person is needed for a job, shouldn’t the same amount of care be taken to ensure the individual is a solid fit and an outstanding performer?  Working with a staffing agency can help you to meet these goals.

What are your staffing expectations for 2011?  How will you ensure that your company finds and retains the very best employees?   

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