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Recruitment Advice

When it comes to recruiting across the whole IT industry, the RWA team has seen it all. Whether you’re looking for a temporary or permanent employee, or an IT contractor, we offer advice to help you find exactly what your business needs.

How to Attract Top IT Contractors

FeaturedWhen there are projects to complete and you need more expertise to get things done, it’s crucial to add new skills to your workforce. Increasing your headcount is not always an option, as sometimes it cannot be sustained long term. In certain situations, you may just need the increased project strength to get over a hump or a specialist skill that your permanent workforce just doesn’t possess. In short, you need Contractors.

Sure, there is an expense here; their daily rate will dwarf anything you pay your permanent staff, and your relationship may be a little more transactional, with some intellectual property leaving your organisation in someone else’s head. But the increase in your workforce or the specialist skills procured can all be worth it in the long run to deliver successful projects.

As mentioned, Contractors are an interesting breed, they stereotypically have a different view of the world than your permanent staff. That means you might need to view the world a little differently to attract them. Factors like career advancement, foosball tables, free beer Fridays, and a company going places may not attract Contractors, even if they do attract potential employees. When attracting Contractors, it’s crucial to do more than run an advertisement on a job board and hope for the best; you need to have structures and systems in place to make your opportunity appealing beyond the daily rate.

Here are some ideas of things to market when trying to catch the eye of the Contractors you need.

Location

This will appeal to the right people. Both locals and people who want to travel both have the potential to be interested in this. If your project is in the CBD, then great, it’s central, but if it is Hawaii, then, well, that would be interesting too.

Reputation

Always be looking at building your brand or reputation; whether that be around the projects you are working on, the technology you are using, the amazing teams you have on board already, or thought-leaders working within your remit. Pick which of these could be enticing and highlight it. Your culture must speak for you in the marketplace. Imagine having a lineup of people (metaphorically) outside your door, just waiting for an opportunity to work with your company. If you have a reputation of being a great company to work for, that’s exactly what can happen.

Great Rates Paid on Time

Be known for paying great rates. You don’t need to “sell the farm” but if the projects are worth it to you, put your money where your mouth is and get the attention of the best people who presumably went into contracting for the rates you can demand. Also remember, paying on time is important too, reputations for not paying on time will get around the IT market (it is not a really big place) and that will shackle your attempts to win their applications. Engaging a specialist IT contracting recruitment agency like RWA can be an advantage here, as you can rely on us to take care of your payroll and administrative requirements.

Engagement

Let’s face it; Contractors are normally treated as a commodity. Something procured and brought in to do a specific task and then discarded. Try not to do that. Engage them as you would anyone else; invite them to staff meetings, lunches, break-up events. Let it be known you value their contribution on a personal basis.

Training

Be known to train Contactors. It will stand out like a beacon in the dreary atmosphere. Working on a technology upgrade, but the technical skills in the marketplace just don’t exist yet? Get some stars at a different technical release level and help them upgrade, it will still be cheaper than using the vendor directly. Training is normally a self-funded event for Contractors, so helping in this regard will be advantageous in the long run for your business.

Certainty

Know what you are selling. Nothing will turn Contractors off more than uncertainty. Know the details, know the projects, the deliverables, the timelines, and the expectations and push those. I don’t mean having a 15-page position description, but know and be sure of what your project is trying to achieve and why. Being able to articulate the business benefit of the project, and thus its importance is a powerful message (and slightly unusual) to the right Contractor. In a space of short-term engagements, where Contractors are paid a little more for the ambiguity they need to operate in, clarification is something that is sure to stand out.

A Timely Process

If you have an itch, you scratch it. If you need a Contractor, you engage them. Simple right? Well, not always. Make sure your process is set up so a timely decision can be made. Know who needs to be involved and when, what sign-offs are required and what details you need to engage a Contractor. The acquisition of Contractors is normally a high-speed game, with multiple players gunning for the right person. The quickest normally wins, so ensure you don’t mess Contractors around with meaningless interviews and assessments. They will inevitably lose interest and go elsewhere.

Find a Partner

Having a trusted partner to sing your praises definitely helps. A trusted advisor, who understands your business, your culture, and the wider market, can be a blessing when the whips are cracking and you need someone fast. They’ll be able to advise you on rates and attraction plans honestly, and may already have access to a talent pool of Contractors who have the skills you need and are ready and willing to go.

Engaging Contractors is not an easy task, and let’s face it, it’s not cheap either. Give yourself the best opportunity to attract these people (not skillsets) and make your projects more successful. If all this seems a bit much and you are not sure where to start, contact us here. We’ll be happy to help you win this war for IT contracting talent.

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