Have you ever auditioned for a part in a school play or a local theater production? It can be a long, arduous and emotional process; actors and actresses give everything they have and more. Digging deep to find the right combination of talent, experience and emotion to win the hearts of the director. But in the end, Casting Directors will cast the best talent for the part with the vision of critical and financial success in their future. I believe the same holds true for hiring managers and employers. Their hope is to hire the best candidate for open jobs; selecting talented individuals who will drive them towards financial and critical success. So as an employer, would holding auditions for your next full time employee (FTE) be a ‘best practice?’ Probably not; but if you’re considering a contract, contract-to-hire or temporary employee that is exactly what’s happening.

Contingent labor has become an auditioning ground for numerous organizations; and the benefits are many. With the contingent workforce on the rise in America, more and more employers are taking a closer look at the benefits of contract, contract-to-hire, temporary and shot term workers. According to Wikipedia, contingent workforce is defined ‘as a provisional group of workers who work for an organization on a non-permanent basis, also known as freelancers, independent professionals, temporary contract workers, independent contractors or consultants.’

The contingent workforce includes people from all walks of life; software architects and adjunct professors to hospitality and day labor. With the recent jobs report and the sluggish economy, staffing services provide a viable and safe means for organizations to flex up or down as business demands without suffering the financial or morale crisis involved in hiring and firing FTE’s.   Businesses in the past who were weary of the temporary or contract employee are looking more favorably on the practice today. Staffing and Recruiting for IT, Engineering and Professional Services continues to grow by leaps and bounds with many of the most seasoned professionals choosing the flexibility of contracting over permanent placement. There are multiple reasons why, but I believe the first and foremost might be the idea of ‘try before you buy;’ we all know that bad hiring decisions cost far more than just money for everyone involved. A Contract, Contract-to-hire or temporary worker allows Managers the opportunity to make more informed hiring decisions while covering key production or project functions. With a longer period of time to evaluate the skills, work ethic, personality and performance; top tier candidates are being selected as much for the culture fit as the talent they bring to an organization. With no long-term commitments, time and cost savings, and the opportunity to ‘Audition’ your next FTE, why wouldn’t you choose a contingent worker? Why wouldn’t they choose you?

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