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How Recruiters are Minding the Skills Gap

Sep 14 , 2018

Person signing a contract.

Skills gaps are affecting recruiting and changing the way positions are filled. Employers are coming up with creative solutions to address this issue. One popular solution is recruiting contract workers because they can be hired on a short-term temporary basis, complete the work needed, then be free to move on to other work.

Understanding Contract Workers

Contract workers are different from full-time workers in several key ways. Understanding the needs and wants of contract workers will help recruiters reach them and offer opportunities they will be willing to consider. 

Because many contract workers work remotely and are widely understood to be employed on a temporary basis, company culture is less important to them than it is to full time employees. Work that is challenging and allows these contract workers to use their particular skill set is of much higher importance to them than what the company culture is like. 

Although contract workers may not be as tied to company culture as full timers, they still want to know important details about the company and what their role will be as a contractor there. Because many contractors have left full-time jobs that they didn't find challenging enough, recruiters can expect contract workers to be even more selective about the work they choose. 

Two men meeting and shaking hands.

Recruiting Contract Workers

One study of contract workers showed that they were even more aggressive in their job searches than those looking for full time work. Contract workers were more likely to have an updated resume and LinkedIn profile, to research and apply for jobs, and to network than those who were looking for full-time jobs. This may be because contract jobs are more temporary and contract workers need to search more often, or because they never know when they will need to look. 

Contractors rely on recruiters to find opportunities they can pursue, but will grow quickly frustrated if the recruiter can't match their skills to appropriate opportunities or give them the information they need to evaluate those opportunities for themselves. 

Another consideration for is compensation. Most contract workers don't get benefits, and they have to shoulder more of the tax burden for the money they make than full-time workers, who get half of their medicare and social security tax paid for by their employers. Because of these considerations as well as the temporary nature of the job, compensation offered should be higher (per hour) than what it would be on a full time basis. 

If recruiters make themselves aware of the needs of contract workers, they can help employers bridge the skills gap and find the workers they need, even on a contract basis. Although many workers are choosing the contract route over traditional full-time employment, there are many advantages for employers as well—cost savings from not paying benefits, even with increased compensation, savings on office space if contract workers work remotely, and even decreased HR needs because of the simplicity of administrating contract workers. It can be a win-win for both sides. 

Contact us at GDH for more information about recruiting contract workers and our expertise in this area.