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Hiring Contractors in a Fast Moving Market

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The market is changing and adapting is key

Over the last four weeks, I’ve experienced and heard from clients in the market that there’s been a large increase in the number of contract jobs opening up within IT and Telecommunications. Candidates are now receiving two to three job offers at any one time.

So how can employers ensure they engage the best talent before their competitors do?

Timing is of the essence. In a competitive, candidate short market, companies who move quickly when hiring are usually much more successful than those who have lengthy hiring processes, or wait for better candidates to come along.

From the candidate’s perspective (who may be attending multiple interviews) the differentiator in this space may simply be the speed of an offer as role types are often quite similar. Candidates may accept an offer simply because it’s already on the table, rather than waiting for an opportunity to arise with a preferred company.

This means that companies who are agile in their hiring processes will have the best chance of securing the top talent. Here, good planning can make all the difference.

Getting the timing right

  • Whilst it’s good to be thorough, weigh up the time it takes to screen, interview and make an offer against the speed of the market and candidate expectations. Concluding the process quickly and efficiently is in the best interests of everyone. Remember that candidates can lose interest fast, particularly when other attractive offers are in reach.
  • Companies’ hiring timeframes can vary, but the optimal time to turn around a good contractor CV is 48 hours after screening
  • Within 48 hours, this should progress to a face-to-face meeting with the candidate
  • Within one week of receiving a CV, both the first and second face-to-face interviews should be completed
  • After a week, a verbal offer should be made.

The importance of process

  • Set your hiring objectives before you commence the recruitment process. Be clear on why the resource is required, for how long and in what capacity.
  • When briefing your recruiter on a role, be clear about your hiring timelines and process. As contract roles move rapidly, ensure that you have adequate time available to conduct interviews in the short term following the briefing.
  • Avoid delays following up after an interview. No news can often be considered bad news, so quick and clear communication is crucial.
  • Clearly articulate the benefits on offer. Faced with several opportunities, a compelling ‘what’s in it for me’ can be a clincher.
  • Listen closely to what your candidate is looking for to increase your chances of a successful offer. 

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