Hiring in the post-recession world

2 Aug

Contracting work on a temp-to-hire basis can help employers find the right employees.

Temporary workers may make up to 20 percent of the workforce by 2022, according to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers cited by CIPD. PwC indicated it believes those in charge of employee management are reaching a crossroads because more employees are changing their minds about what they want from their careers . People are beginning to telecommute and request hours that are different from the usual 9 to 5. As a result, 24 percent of strategic human resource management companies responding to PwC's survey reported they are actively planning to change their workforce initiatives to reflect what employees want.

The result is that temporary workers will take on more responsibilities than they might have in the past. Additionally, it means hiring permanent workers will also change as companies use different tools to choose their workers, including hiring from pools of temps.

Finding permanent talent through contract labor
Companies are looking for qualified workers to fill niche positions in their companies, but these talented individuals are becoming harder to find, according to Chris Martin, senior vice president for enterprise solutions at Randstad U.S. in an interview with Human Resources Executive Online.

"The war for talent is over, and talent won," said Martin. "So now you're seeing companies looking at every potential stream to hire qualified individuals."

Companies are therefore hiring more contract workers to fill positions that might otherwise have gone to permanent hires. But these positions are often temp-to-hire, which means employers can shop around for the best fit for a job before committing to a single employee.

"In 2012, less than 11 percent of our openings started as contract-to-hire – in which the company states at the outset that it's looking for someone to eventually hire permanently," Martin said  "This year, through July, we're at 19 percent."

The benefits of temp-to-hire
In general, human resource planning teams have much to gain through hiring a contract worker full-time. There is a longer period for determining the employee's ability to fit into the corporate culture, along with his or her general ability to do a job well. Sometimes, employees are on their best behavior for the first month or so, but eventually they let their guard down and reveal how they will likely behave if they were hired permanently. This can reveal the employee more fully than a short interview and contacting past employees.  By taking its time, a company can help to avoid hiring people who wouldn't do well with a long-term role.

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