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Speed Up Your Hiring with Contract-to-Hire

  • Publish Date: Posted 8 months ago
  • Author: Kathy Van Pelt

Speed Up Your Hiring with Contract-to-Hire

“Hire slow, fire fast.” We've been told this adage so many times we take it for granted now. But is it true?

Speed Up Your Hiring with Contract-to-Hire

​Actually, even in this uncertain coronavirus pandemic environment, it is not a smart policy. Not every industry slows down in an economic downturn. And not every company within an industry slows down. The bottom line is people get hired during layoffs and hires happen even when things slow down.

The longer you deliberate, the higher the chance you lose the candidate to a competitor as most candidates apply to multiple jobs at the same time. If your 'slow hiring' process irritates the candidate, they won't wait around for you to mull over your decision. They'll move on.

And the good ones go fast. Time to fill now averages 44 calendar days, an increase of 50 percent since 2010 (Gartner). The top 10 percent of candidates are often gone from the marketplace within 10 days.

That slowness means that hiring managers must select from the remaining “not-in-demand candidates” which may result in mediocre hires. Your brand may also take a hit as ex-candidates spout off about your hiring sluggishness on Glassdoor and other social media forums. Who wants to work for a company that can’t make a decision?

Companies who want to rev up their hiring engine often try the contract-to-hire model.

Contract-to-hire provides both the business and the employee an opportunity to check each other out. A temporary position gives the employee and employer a test run, and an easy out if it doesn’t work out. These short-term positions typically vary anywhere from three months up to a year, with the opportunity to become full-time, permanent employees at the end of the contract.

How does contract-to-hire get them in the door faster?

“Fewer interviews and less vetting,” says one veteran HR Director. “Because there is less risk involved, you can skip through some of bureaucracy.”  

“We do work with one large client’s Innovation Lab,” said one MATRIX Account Executive. “They have to move fast and can’t wait months for talent. Contract-to-hire eliminates a lot of the pre-employment testing, screening, role playing scenarios and other steps that typically slows down the direct hire process.”

He continued to say that his staff augmentation recruiters can often come up with top-notch candidates in 48-72 hours.

Being decisive with your hiring process helps you differentiate yourself from competitors and improve your candidate experience. You’re not forcing applicants to continually return for interviews and wait patiently for feedback. It’s something candidates will notice and appreciate.

It also gives them less time to interview elsewhere or listen to counteroffers from their current managers, so there’s less of a chance they will get poached by someone else.

Many job seekers overlook contract-to-hire opportunities because they are searching for that permanent, full-time position with health and retirement benefits. But for many individuals working with a staffing firm or recruiting agency, contractors are provided benefits through the agency if working as a W-2 employee. 

The fact is, today’s job seekers want flexibility in their work life. They don’t want to be stuck in a job or culture where they are not a fit. That’s where a contract-to-hire job can be a blessing. And it’s here to stay for reasons that go beyond candidate preferences:

  • Your internal recruiters like it. Whereas a long hiring process requires a good deal of recruiters’ time to schedule interviews and calls and perform mundane onboarding tasks, hiring quickly helps them focus on closing requisitions and hitting quotas. 

  • Your hiring managers like it. Short recruitment cycles give hiring managers the talent they need immediately. It also opens market possibilities to a larger number of potential hires – candidates who prefer contract work, candidates who prefer permanent jobs, and candidates willing to do both.

The industry likes it, too. Seventy-seven percent of businesses surveyed by IWG are adapting to improve talent retention by introducing more flexible hiring options this year. You should join them.