Be a ‘MacGyver’ for Your Clients
By Debbie Fledderjohann, Top Echelon Contracting President
If there’s one thing that people like more than solutions to their problems, it’s solutions immediately, as soon as their problems arise.
Anybody who’s ever seen the action-adventure television show MacGyver knows that the title character, portrayed by Richard Dean Anderson, was an expert at devising solutions. He often devised these solutions in an extremely short amount of time with the help of special gadgets and/or improvised tools.
Whenever there was a problem, MacGyver invariably had a solution . . . and that’s what hiring managers and authorities want from their recruiters.
Now of course, nobody’s life is going to be on the line, which was the case in quite a few episodes of MacGyver, but the livelihood of your business might very well be. That’s because in this day of fast-paced business changes and challenges, clients not only want their recruiters to provide solutions in a timely fashion, they need them to, and if they can’t . . . they’ll be tempted to find somebody who can.
It’s possible to set yourself up as your clients’ own personal “staffing MacGyver.” You can accomplish this by listening to them, understanding their problems, and then helping them to solve those problems by offering extra services. Companies are in need of more than just direct-hire candidates. They’re also in need of candidates they can hire on a contract basis, and they sometimes need these candidates at a moment’s notice. By helping your clients with all of their needs—direct or contract—you’ll not only brand yourself as a “staffing MacGyver,” you’ll also build more loyalty with your clients over the long haul.
A significant shade of grey
But for a moment, let’s not think in terms of black and white (in other words, direct hire vs. contracting). There’s a significant shade of grey that exists, and that shade is termed “temp-to-direct,” which in the past was called “temp-to-perm.” Temp-to-direct hires are becoming more and more popular with companies because of the flexibility that they offer. Think of it as a “try before you buy” proposition.
There are three main catalysts behind the current temp-to-direct hiring trend:
1. Companies have the opportunity to evaluate a candidate’s skills and how well they fit in before offering them a full-time position. The candidate’s time as a contractor can be thought of as an extended interview. This contracting period also gives company officials a chance to see if the contractor is able to settle into the corporate culture.
2. Companies can go the temp-to-direct route in order to bypass budget constraints. This typically happens at the end of the fiscal year. Sometimes companies put a direct hiring freeze into effect, but they still utilize contractors to finish important projects. These contractors are usually funded through the operating budget, as opposed to the capital budget. When a new capital budget is put into place, usually at the beginning of the next fiscal year, a contractor can then become a direct hire.
3. Candidates who want to get their foot in the door at a specific company are more likely to accept a contract position at that company. Temp-to-direct is an excellent option, especially if the company isn’t currently hiring on a direct basis.
And of course, companies and candidates aren’t the only ones who win—you do, too. That’s because when you place a candidate on a temp-to-direct basis, you not only receive an hourly fee for every hour the candidate works, you also receive a conversion fee when the candidate is hired direct. That is the epitome of a win-win-win situation.
Too good to be true?
Your clients already know that you can provide them with direct-hire candidates. However, if an immediate need arises, or if the direct-hire job order they gave you suddenly becomes a contract job order, would you be able to help them? Statistics indicate that between 70% and 80% of companies in the United States use contract staffing . . . and they’re all looking for their own personal “staffing MacGyver.”
The recruiting process is the same for a contract placement as it is for a direct-hire placement. You receive a contract job order and find a contract candidate for that job order. You might be thinking, “But what about all the back-office stuff? That’s certainly different than a direct-hire placement.”
You’re absolutely correct; it is different. However, the good news is that you can outsource those back-office duties to a contract staffing service provider. That provider will become the legal W-2 employer for the contractor and take care of the administrative, financial, and legal responsibilities associated with making the contract placement. You don’t have to worry about the contracts, the taxes, the payroll funding, or even the collections. But you still get paid on a regular basis for placing the candidate.
Think about it for a second. The company gets what it wants, you’ve just branded yourself in a positive fashion with the hiring authority, you receive a steady stream of revenue, and you’re able to avoid all of the potentially unpleasant aspects of the placement. It almost sounds too good to be true . . . but it isn’t. Recruiters all across the country are enjoying the benefits of contract staffing on a daily basis, and you could be one of them.
Top Echelon Contracting, the recruiter’s back-office solution, is a full-service contract staffing service provider. We’ve been successfully helping recruiters add contract staffing to their business model since 1992, allowing them to build more loyalty as a sole-source provider. We can help you get started in contracting and give you the tools you need to be a “MacGyver” for your clients.