Having a qualified, engaged and productive workforce is critical to the success of any business. Changes in the employment marketplace, however, have made the process of finding, hiring and maintaining such a workforce much more challenging. As a result, a new paradigm has evolved to meet these challenges successfully. We call this new paradigm Managed Staffing Services.
The cost of an inefficient or unproductive staffing model can be high, and may involve:
- A failure to fill key positions with qualified individuals
- A failure to hire, retain and maintain a capable, productive staff
- Lost productivity due to a failure to meet company staffing needs in a timely manner
- The high cost of turnover of bringing on resources who are not a good fit both for the employer and its clients
In today’s competitive landscape, “good enough” staffing whose main goal is simply to fill seats, isn’t enough.
What’s made the search for the right candidates a more complex issue is that in an increasingly competitive job environment, recruiters advise candidates to customize their resume to each opportunity. The goal of such customization is to attain an in-person interview. As a result, resumes now position every candidate as an ideal fit for every opportunity, and filtering out the ‘best fit’ candidates has become increasingly difficult. Though this is certainly true in the technical sector, more and more, it applies across most industries.
Recently a client related how, on the strength of their resumes, he invited 16 candidates in to interview for a particular position. After giving each of them a one-hour test to determine the depth of their skills, however, he dismissed them all without so much as a conversation. That was a great waste of time for both the hiring manager and the candidates.
Most staffing companies locate available candidates from job sites with resumes that match the skills needed for the job. Sending them to clients after only a cursory conversation and minimal testing leads to the type of frustration expressed by the client mentioned above. A Managed Staffing model, however, successfully finds and maintains a qualified workforce by applying 4 progressive phases:
- Identifying candidates with the breadth and depth of skills
- Screening candidates at multiple levels to ensure they have the depth of skills and personality that fits the culture of the company
- Building a relationship with the candidate during the onboarding process
- Maintaining the relationship with the candidate for the long term
The second phase of this process includes technical and skills screening conducted by a senior person. She may perform testing in order to determine the level of skills each candidate possesses, followed by a one-on-one interview with the candidate. Candidates who pass skills screening then undergo a soft skills and culture assessment by someone familiar with the culture and special needs of the hiring company.
The multi-level interview results in a good assessment of skills, the candidate’s personality and dedication, and match with the hiring team’s and company’s needs. The hiring manager now picks from a small pool of quality candidates with a high degree of match for both the hard and soft skills required of the role.
In my next post, I’ll talk about the third and fourth phases, that of onboarding candidates and maintaining them on an ongoing basis in order to ensure that they remain engaged and productive in the workplace and are long term players.