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Contracting job applicants can help employers evaluate on-the-job skills

Posted on June 30th, 2011 Read time: 1 minutes

Hiring processes typically follow a general formula: An applicant submits his or her resume; if it impresses employers, an interview is set up, and if both sides are content, the candidate is hired.

However, this isn't always the most comprehensive strategy, and can lead to an HR administration hiring individuals who simply don't fit. This has led Jason Freedman, of the blog humbledMBA, to call the standard system "crazy" and advocate for a new method of finding future employees.

"I think of hiring as mutual courting. The only way to court in a work setting is to spend time working together," Freedman writes. "Whenever I'm thinking of hiring someone … we do a project together. I pay them a reasonable contractor fee for the work, and I make sure it's the type of work that's easily definable, has clear deliverables and lasts a few weeks."

Through this method, employers will be able to judge working habits, motivation and strengths and weaknesses, while the candidate will be aware of exactly what they're getting into. This makes for a mutually well-informed decision.

Hiring applicants to work as contract or temporary workers could help companies ease a hiring process that many report to be increasingly difficult. A recent survey from ManpowerGroup found 52 percent of businesses surveyed reported difficulties in hiring the right talent in 2011.

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