How to build an exceptional contingent worker hiring experience

June 6, 2024 Casey Nighbor

In the past few years, there has been an almost renaissance to the hiring process. This is partially due to the pandemic but also to new technology entering the recruitment space. The “it worked for a decade so it will still work” attitude is no longer going to get companies very far in today’s new market. If you want a skilled team, hiring the right contingent workers and providing an exceptional experience is key. 

A positive and modern contingent worker hiring experience attracts top talent and creates a good reputation for your company, setting the stage for long-term success. Here's a detailed list of how to create such an experience. 

1. Define your ideal contingent worker

Before starting the hiring process, it's important to clearly define the qualities and skills you are looking for in new contingent workers. Develop a detailed job description that outlines the responsibilities, qualifications, and expectations. Any special skills or wish list items would be great to add here as well. This can provide guidance throughout the hiring process.

2. Create compelling job postings

Start by asking the question “Would I be interested in this job if I saw it posted somewhere?” If the answer is no, then go back to the drawing board. It’s important to craft job listings that not only outline the role but also highlight your company’s culture, values, and unique selling points. Use engaging language that will resonate with potential candidates and clearly communicate what sets your organization apart.

3. Streamline the application process

You need to bring your application process out of the dark ages. According to research done by SHRM, 92% of candidates drop-off in the application process and over half quit because of application length or complexity. There is a lot riding on a great application process so as much as possible, simplify and shorten the application process to remove unnecessary barriers. Your application should be user-friendly and easy to apply on mobile. 

If you aren’t sure where to start or where the possible drop-off points could be, test out your application process internally. See how long each step takes and how mobile-friendly it is. It’s even more useful if you have team members go through this process that have not been involved in its creation because they may catch things or see the application in a different light.

Everything about this process should be easy and fast or you will lose potential applicants. 

4. Showcase your culture

There is a saying that says culture eats strategy for breakfast—meaning your culture is what people really care about at the end of the day. It’s best to show candidates during the interview process insights into your company culture and work environment. Arrange office or facillty tours, virtual meet-and-greets with team members or informational sessions to give candidates a glimpse into life at your organization.

Another part of this culture puzzle is crafting a compelling employer value proposition (EVP). 

Not sure what an EVP is? In short, it’s the “why should I work for you over anyone else, what’s in it for me?” For applicants, it’s an understanding of what the business is going to do to not only attract the best talent but also keep them and turn them into brand ambassadors. In other words, what makes your company attractive to work for? 

And this is not just crucial for your full-time employees—but also matters for any contingent or temporary hires you are making. 

5. Prioritize communication

Good communication can be a huge reputation builder. Maintain open and transparent communication with candidates throughout the hiring process. Research shows 95% of job seekers rate the ability to follow-up on application as the most important feature on a career website. Additionally, 76% of job seekers state that not hearing back after submitting a job application trumps the frustration of not hearing back after a first date. 

Keep them informed of their status, next steps and expected timelines. Promptly respond to any inquiries or concerns they may have. By doing so, you are building a positive experience even if the candidate doesn’t work out.

6. Reputation building

Similar to the previous point, creating a positive experience for candidates helps build a great reputation in the market. Prioritize memorable experiences for candidates at every touchpoint— from initial contact to final decision. Show appreciation for their time and interest in your company, regardless of the outcome.

It’s also a good practice to check your Google and job posting sites (like Indeed) reviews.  Are there patterns in these reviews? Are there actionable items that keep coming up in reviews? Use this information to your advantage. It’s also a good idea to respond to any negative reviews and offer action steps for any issues so future candidates can see you take probelms seriously and are working towards creating an excellent experience for all. 

7. Continuously evaluate and improve

Internally, you should regularly assess your hiring process for effectiveness and areas of improvement. It’s difficult to make any changes if you aren’t tracking anything. Solicit feedback from candidates and hiring managers to identify pain points and implement necessary changes.

Additionally, you should establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your hiring process, such as time-to-fill, offer acceptance rate and candidate satisfaction scores. Use these metrics to track progress and refine your approach over time.

Not sure where to start when building a great experience? We can help.  

The Direct Sourcing difference

At Staff Management | SMX, we always want to help our clients find the perfect match for their open positions. Our Direct Sourcing Solution uses our proven recruiting tools and expertise while still going to market as your brand. With this solution, you can leverage your employment brand and culture to get the most out of your recruiting process and candidate experience—while still freeing up time for your recruitment or operations teams. 

Our expert solution includes:

·         Dedicated Recruitment and Support Teams

·         Market Expertise and Talent Attraction

·         Brand Alignment and Workforce Engagement

·         Visibility and Cost Savings

·         Bottom Line Value and ROI 

Want to learn more about our direct sourcing solution and what else it can offer your operation? Download our info sheet here.

By defining your ideal contingent worker, personalizing the hiring journey, and prioritizing communication and candidate experience, you can attract and retain top talent while strengthening your company's reputation as an employer of choice.

Still not sure why an exceptional candidate experience matters? Read more about why it can be impactful here. 

About the Author

About Casey: Content marketing manager, frequently reading, aspiring chef, failed plant mom, connoisseur of tater tots, beauty products and airplane food.

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