ATR International has been a trusted staffing supplier for over 30 years. Working with people is at the heart of our business and the importance of maintaining strong relationships with our contractors has been central to our success as a company. Which is why it is so important to have a strong and efficient contractor care program for checking in with your contract employees on a regular basis. With recruiters usually busy sourcing and screening new candidates, it can be overwhelming for them to also keep in contact with every contractor they have working with them. Our contractor care program was implemented in an effort to give contractors a way to provide steady feedback on how they think we are doing, bring up complaints, and work with me to solve everyday issues that they may have with their job or contract.Read More
In Part I of this post, we focused on the things about working as a contractor that people like. Here, we’ll talk about how to decide if it’s right for you.
If you’re in the IT industry you’ve probably wondered at one time or another about working as a contractor. IT companies utilized contingent workforce strategies earlier and continue to do so at higher levels than many other organizations and industries, so the opportunities have been around for a while. Furthermore, the freelance or gig economy trend is frequently in the news and brings more attention to contract or project based work.Read More
It sometimes seems as though there is no shortage of negative articles about the staffing industry. The online industry publication Staffing Talk ran The Associated Press takes on Temp Nation in July and it’s just one of the latest casting the industry in a negative light. Much of the bad news comes from stories that rightfully expose the conditions that “day laborers” work in. Then there are the unfortunate workplace accidents that occur when training or safety is overlooked or rushed and you also read periodically about unscrupulous people running staffing firms that are just scams to prey on those looking for work. Finally there are the firms that knowingly or otherwise run afoul of rules and regulations, or are badly managed and go out of business seemingly overnight, leaving both clients and workers stunned and costing everyone money.
The question of where a company’s contingent workforce program should reside is one that continues to be asked – Procurement or HR? – Which is better? If there were an easy answer the question would not pop up so frequently, nor would companies like mine find themselves working with both groups depending on the client. Companies would choose the right one; if there is a clear option that is better, smart people will gravitate to it. The truth is that both models can work and both models have their downsides. The truth is also that wherever you “house” your program, you want to be sure that it involves people from all constituencies – procurement, HR and your internal clients. Bringing together the strengths and guarding against the weaknesses of each will help ensure that your program is the most successful it can be. And don’t forget about your suppliers. A program cannot succeed if it doesn’t attract great staffing partners who are committed to quality and developing a good business relationship. Make sure your program attracts and rewards good suppliers and great performance.
Are recruiters obsolete and staffing firms’ days numbered? Will technology completely replace what my firm and my colleagues do for our clients and contractors? If you Google these questions you’ll get plenty of opinions: our demise has been predicted for more than a decade and just as vociferously denied as well. The defenders point out that recruiting, at heart, is a people-centric endeavor, and while technology can enhance efficiencies and even replace manual functions, you can’t take the human factor out of it entirely.
CareerBuilder, in conjunction with Inavero, just released its 7th annual Opportunities in Staffing study which identifies key trends and performance benchmarks for staffing clients, talent and providers. The report provides a host of interesting statistics and information on a range of topics but I’d like to highlight something that I found particularly informative: on many questions there was a significant difference between the perceptions and realities between the groups. For example:
As regular readers of Staffing 360 know, last month I attended the SIA’s CWS Summit in San Diego. This year, also for the first time, the SIA held what it called a Case Study Competition. They invited submissions from CW Program Managers that highlighted their recent challenges, solutions and successes. There were six finalists that presented at the conference and a winner was chosen by the attendees. As a sponsor, I wasn’t allowed to vote and that probably saved me a headache because all the entries were impressive! In reality, anyone who listened to the presentations is a winner because we all benefited from their experience and generosity in sharing their knowledge.
I recently attended the SIA’s 2012 CWS Summit in San Diego with a number of my ATR colleagues. We were actually a sponsor of the event for the first time and we had a wonderful experience! The sessions addressed a variety of subjects related to contingent workforce programs. They were interesting and provided great learning opportunities, but, as usually is the case with conferences, the best part was simply the chance to meet and speak with people. In our fast-paced, technology-laden world, a face to face conversation can turn into a rarity. The Summit was just the latest reminder that it’s important to make time and get out there! I learned just as much by simply talking to those who stopped by our booth. In fact, I actually missed a few of the sessions because I was deep in conversation (thank goodness for MP3s)!
One of my colleagues, Bryan Harter, brought to my attention an article on RecruitingBlog by Debbie Fledderjohann entitled “The Secret to Hiring for Attitude.” The post references a Forbes online interview by Dan Schawbel with Mark Murphy, the author of Hiring for Attitude. The interview covers a number of topics including why so many new hires don’t work out, and so quickly (46% of them fail within 18 months), the differences between technical, soft skills and attitude, and the ways that screening for these attributes are driving changes in the interview process. Ms. Fledderjohann points out that testing out a worker’s suitability on the job is a great way to ensure that they are a good fit as it reveals things the traditional interview does not. I couldn’t agree more: contract-to-direct, temp-to-perm, “try before you buy,” whatever name it goes by, can be a great way for both the prospective employee and the company to test things out and make sure both are happy before making a longer term commitment.