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How to hire the right staff in the growing contract economy

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Exit  interviews give employers a full perspective from the standpoint of the gig worker. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH

Exit interviews give employers a full perspective from the standpoint of the gig worker. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH 

By ANDRE LAVOIE

Posted  Wednesday, January 11   2017 at  19:07

The “gig economy” is rapidly growing as more employers embrace contract work. This is changing how employees consider their position in the workforce.

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ReportLinker’s survey from December 2016 found that one-third of the 1,008 US respondents said they would consider exiting the traditional workplace to work as a freelancer or independent contractor, with nearly half saying they might do so within three years.

So, the gig economy is growing. And this trend is forever changing the American workplace as contract work continues to gain popularity. Intuit’s survey in August 2015 estimated that freelancers could make up 43 per cent of the workforce by 2020.

Now is as good a time as any, then, for employers to refine the way they recruit talent in order to attract the gig economy A players. Let’s look at how employers can ensure their recruitment process is effective for the gig economy and how they can best evaluate their performance:

Measure quality of hire and onboarding

Bad hires are always costly, especially when it comes to hiring contractors. To prevent investing too much time and money in bad contractor hires, companies are turning to data.

“Quality of hire” data measures how a hiring team makes decisions and how well its hires fit into their roles and the company. The review process for quality of hire decisions considers performance and goal achievement. Use your own company’s quality of hire metrics to refine your process, in order to hire more efficiently. For example, if contractors are failing to accomplish their goals, look at how your hiring team has been assessing candidates. Perhaps they need to reevaluate their process.

Quality of onboarding is another important measurement. It shows how satisfied new hires are in terms of being set up to succeed, how well they understood the goals and how longer-term employees made them feel as they entered the culture.

Imagine that a contractor you used complained that communication of expectations was unclear. That means that a gap in communication occurred. In that case, you would train managers on how to communicate objectives in a more thorough way.

Use predictive analytics

Data can be leveraged to predict how well contractors will perform. The first step is to identify some top performers who have held the position that’s open. Then, compare their skills and competencies with those of your candidates.

How do the skills of the contractor you’re considering align with those of employees who have been in these positions? Assess a contractor’s potential for success by basing your hiring decisions on competencies. Competency-based systems use predictive statistical models to identify which candidates offer the competencies you need. These metrics can give your hiring professionals confidence in making offers. Knowing competencies is also beneficial when a contract ends.

Perform exit interviews

When employers know their contractors’ competencies, they can set benchmarks to compare future contractors to. That’s why when contractors complete their project, it’s wise to perform an exit interview.

Exit interviews give employers a full perspective from the perspective of the gig worker. Make it clear that the purpose of the interview is to get the contractor’s honest feedback, to determine how the company can improve the talent life cycle.

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