As a recruiter, you might be tasked with hiring contract or seasonal workers to either supplement your workforce or fill a talent gap left after a recent downsizing. You will undoubtedly approach this hiring initiative with the same level of creativity and expertise as you would any other hiring situation. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind for this particular type of hire:
Use the Job Ad to Attract the Ideal Job Seeker
In this current environment, it’s more important than ever to be clear about the position details and the qualifications necessary to be successful in the role. The job ad title should clearly state if it is a contract or seasonal opportunity. Gain momentum and excitement for the position through the descriptive language used. If your organization offers a benefit or an environment that is a great feature of the position, mention it in the title or in a prominent area of the job ad. Is this a great role for a stay-at-home parent? Is there a subsidized cafeteria on site? Are there split shifts that can be shared by students? Is the contract work estimated to last six weeks or six months? Remember, this is a marketing document. As such, it’s your chance to attract the ideal candidate to the position.
Strengthen Your Employment Brand
Bottom line: now more than ever before, job seekers are both savvier and better prepared. Your long term strategy to engage these well-informed job seekers will hinge on your employment brand. You might be offering only contract or seasonal opportunities today, but in time, you will have full time positions to offer again. Every job ad you post represents your brand or that of your client’s company.
Think about what makes you an employer of choice? What do you offer in this current economy that other organizations do not? Use media placement, for example, a video that offers insights into the company, or one that highlights a “day in the life” segment. Also, use clear, consistent messaging to tell a compelling story. You can use this platform to capitalize on your brand strength, or, if you are a lesser known brand, use this opportunity to increase your brand awareness. Never forget that job seekers are all consumers and every organization has something to sell or a message to share.
Considerations for Contract Positions
In many sectors, one being technology, there is an increase in contract recruitment activity. These contract positions offer you, the employer, a unique opportunity to reach out to many of those seekers who may have recently shifted from passive to active. Top talent that had been consistently less than interested in your positions over the past few years may now be open to a conversation. Key talent from top organizations may also be available and interested in an 8-week or 5-month contract. Think outside the box to be certain that you are asking for referrals and “entry” into each interviewing job seeker’s network. Human nature says that we might be more productive and happy in our assignment if we are working with people we choose, so let your new contractor recommend some additional talent that might be interested in joining the team.
Create a Corporate Alumni Program
Top organizations should consider developing a program that will allow recruiters to quickly and easily “re-recruit” alumni with proven track records of success when economic conditions shift. These are the same former employees who might be interested in seasonal or contract work at a familiar organization until full-time positions are again available. By establishing an alumni program with former employees, you are provided them with a reason for consistent communication and a method of contacting them quickly when an opportunity opens up -- whether it be full-time, seasonal or contract. These employees can be referred to as “boomerang” employees and often come back to the organization at a higher productivity level and lower on-boarding cost. They may also come with a built-in resource network due to the prior training and salary dollars invested by the organization.