It’s easy to get caught in a routine. I get it. Whether it’s driving the same way home every day, ordering the same food, or returning to the same vacation spot, people can be creatures of habit. When it comes to recruiting, routine processes can help businesses establish higher standards and make better hires.
Routine or Rut?
However good a recruiting routine is, it also has the potential to become a rut—especially when applied to the wrong talent population. It’s something I see every day in technology recruiting. Hiring managers apply the exact same recruitment methodology they use to hire their full-time tech staff to engaging contract-based tech consultants. It doesn’t work.
In fact, it frustrates the whole talent engagement process and the people in it (you and your candidates). If you’re a business or hiring manager who hasn’t adapted your talent engagement process for the gig workforce, here’s the case for why it’s time to stop using a full-time strategy for limited-term hires:
It’s TOO SLOW
Many businesses conduct two or more rounds of interviews when hiring a full-time technology professional. They meet with different team members and leadership. They do some skills assessments and testing. It can take weeks to get through all that, but candidates in search of full-time roles understand the tradeoff. The time it takes on the frontend to win a full-time role is paid out over the long-term in lasting company benefits, sought-after perks, career growth and skill training.
For contract-based tech workers, time and offers move much faster. Opportunities and offers are a constant for a skilled, contract-based technology professional. Strong pay rates and cool technology work are the magnetic forces that drive these contractors to accept a role. Waiting isn’t smart. I like to think of it in terms of getting a Lyft or Uber ride. You enter where you need to go in the app, and drivers chime in on their rate and how far away they are. Why would you wait for a driver who is an hour away when you can snag one who can be at your door in three minutes? That’s the market for tech talent. Why would they wait three weeks for an offer when they could start working, earning and innovating in a few days? The answer? The vast majority aren’t waiting. They are saying yes to other, more timely offers.
Gig Workers Want Different Things
Gig workers across the technology marketplace have different wants and goals compared to those in search of full-time roles. For many, they like to change work and projects on a more regular basis in order to work on emerging technologies and not get stuck doing the same kind of work day in and out. They like they higher pay rates. In addition, many technology consultants value the remote and flexible work opportunities that can come with many gig roles. A good number of tech consultants will schedule their project assignments with gaps in the middle, which allows them time to work on their own innovations or take time off to travel or be with family.
“Today’s technology contractors know what they want: great tech work, great pay, control and flexibility. By reminding hiring managers of those facts, it’s often easier to trim down intensive interview processes to focus on skills and experience.”
Because, on the whole, this adaptive workforce of consultants knows exactly what they want from their assignments, they are far less patient than full-time job seekers. Multiple interview rounds that dive deep into areas like long-term potential and what candidates want from their roles are simply recruiting time and energy lost. Today’s technology contractors know what they want: great tech work, great pay, control and flexibility. By reminding hiring managers of those facts, it’s often easier to trim down intensive interview processes to focus on skills and experience.
It Hurts the Contractor Experience
In today’s historic job market, everyone talks about the importance of delivering a great candidate experience. But they are not talking about the contractor experience. For technology contractors who have multiple offers to consider almost daily, speed and efficiency are essential elements in a good recruiting experience. If they don’t hear back quickly from an employer, they move on. If there are numerous hoops to jump through, they move on.
While full-time candidates will expect the recruitment process to extend longer in order to explore culture, work environment, career path and team members, contractors will be most interested in the work, innovation opportunities, the pay rate and flexibility. Pare down your full-time candidate experience to focus on those elements and you will be crafting a focused, efficient recruitment journey that fits contractor needs.
“To me, the message in those numbers is to stop worrying. If 91% of the time (more than 9 out of 10 times) your contract hire is the right hire, you are succeeding with speed and better tech talent.”
The Odds Are in Your Favor
The main argument I hear from employers who are nervous about changing their recruitment process to suit the contractor mindset is that they will see a decline in quality. At Triple Crown, where we pride ourselves in rapid, expert deployment, our technology contractors average a 91% completion rate. Only 9% of assignments end unsatisfactorily.
You would be hard pressed to find a full-time hiring process at any company that consistently achieves a 90+% success rate. To me, the message in those numbers is that it’s time to stop agonizing and holding back hires. If in the first 10 minutes of a call with a highly skilled technical consultant you know they can handle the project or not, trust your instincts. Be decisive. Nine times out of ten (91%) a well vetted, skilled hire is the right hire. So make the decision, act with speed, and get your organization on track for on-time completion and increased innovation.