You decide that you need to fill a position within your company quickly and you determine that the best course of action is to hire a professional contractor aka: temp. But hold on a minute before you go running to a temp service. What thought process should you go through? There are a few things you need to figure out before you’re ready to hire someone, even on a temporary basis. These questions should help guide and direct you.
1. What is the job title of the position I need to fill?
Titles may mean nothing to you as an employer, but they mean something to applicants, especially ones looking for jobs. People always claim that titles on their resume don’t mean much, but employers do look at the titles a person has held. If nothing else it helps employers get a sense of who the candidates are.
2. What will the specific assignment be?
What will this person be doing for you? What will be their day-to-day duties? When you hire a contractor you usually do so to deal with a specific problem, such as a new piece of software or a specific project. Make sure you have clearly defined that point when speaking to a staffing specialist. Don’t confuse job duties with experience required.
3. How long will the assignment be (duration)?
Please remember the shorter the assignment, the more flexible you need to be on requirements. You have to give them a reason to pick a job that has a shorter period of payoff. As we’ve talked about before, this is a candidate’s market, and they know it.
4. What specific skill sets will be necessary?
When you hire a contractor it is important to understand the law of supply vs. demand. Unlike in headhunting where you can recruit with specific skill sets in mind, in the contract world, the person must also be unemployed. You have a more limited pool of talent to choose from. Focus more on the skills necessary for this person to succeed vs. “experience”. Remember in recruiting and staffing, “perfect” applicants and perfect jobs don’t exist, so yet again, you will need to be flexible.
5. What is the hiring process?
In the temp/contracting world hiring occurs fast and decisively. Don’t engage a staffing firm to fill a need until it is a need, and you are ready to get someone starting quickly. Unemployed candidates are perishable and don’t sit around waiting on the market. If you are not ready to have a person start a contract assignment within a week, hold off until you are.
6. Get a contract ready.
Make sure you understand expectations, and the terms and conditions of payment. Get everything in writing so that there can be no confusion. It will make the relationship between company, temp, and staffing firm to be a pleasant journey.
In closing, have a realistic understanding of the talent pool you will choose from and what you can expect and be prepared to make concessions. In the current market, the more critical the skills required are, the more difficulty your going to have filling the position and you’re going to need to be ready to deal with that. So know what you’re willing to do before you have to do it. And once you have all of your ducks in a row, call a great recruiter in Pittsburgh to help you find a great contract hire for the job.