Bringing the Test Drive to Your Company

Across the board, with just about any major purchasing decision, consumers with the most experience and insight demand to evaluate products and services before they commit to them with their hard-earned money.  Most of us would “test drive” a new car before agreeing to a purchase, or walk through a new home before making an offer.  Similarly, who among us would invest in an expensive boat without at least sitting behind the wheel?  For most people these are big decisions deserving of a test drive.

In today’s iffy economic recovery, savvy companies are taking advantage of similar “test drive” opportunities before making a large investment with company resources.  In today’s blog entry I’d like to discuss how employment agencies are offering their clients a chance to “test drive” a potential new hire.  There has recently been significant growth of the less-conventional hiring tactic known as temp-to-hire.  In this model, a company will hire a temporary employee through a staffing agency for a tentative stint, say six months.

During this temporary period, the company enjoys several benefits that don’t always come with a traditional direct-hire model.  They can:

  • Watch the candidate in a variety of real-life situations.
  • See how the candidate interacts with the team.
  • Fill an immediate need within the company by bridging the gap until budgets are approved for full time, direct hires.
  • Save money by avoiding the cost of a bad hiring decision since the agency takes on all the employment risks and payroll costs.
  • Save time by letting the employment agency do the legwork of candidate screening, interviewing, reference checks, etc.

Temp-to-hire candidates have a better overall job retention than candidates hired by the traditional direct hire model according to the American Staffing Association (ASA).  The ASA also says 77% of staffing employees say it’s a good way to obtain a permanent job.  They go on to say that 80% of clients believe staffing firms offer a good way to find people who can become permanent employees.

Now is the Time

Where it could be argued that this kind of arrangement wouldn’t have panned out in years past, we are now working in an age where many of the norms have shifted.  Today’s candidate pool has never been more qualified!  With so many displaced workers in these challenging economic times, candidates are more open to temp or “freelance” assignments with the possibility of being hired on.  Moreover, many of these candidates have willingly left their existing jobs to pursue a temporary work arrangement with a more attactive firm, especially when it means that they might be able to earn a permanent position there or expand their skill sets.

Candidates as well like the prospect of being able to “test drive” their own job, citing the frustration of being sold what the employer posed as a dream job only to find out a few months down the road that the job responsibilities were misconstrued.

Next time your company is considering additional staff, consider a temporary contractor though a reputable staffing agency.  This choice gives you the flexibility of outsourcing payroll administration costs and the cost of employee benefits.  You also save on the cost of recruiting, and all the costs associated with making a wrong hiring decision.  Save time by not having to sift through piles of resumes, conduct multiple interviews or check references.  If things don’t work out, there is no long-term commitment. If a particular contractor does work out, you can offer him or her the job avoiding a long ramp up period.  Best of all, you fill your employment need immediately.  In today’s economy, take a “test drive” and consider temp-to-hire when bringing on your next new staff member.

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