As contract staffing becomes a long-term business strategy in many organizations, companies are increasingly turning to recruiters to find the best contract candidates. But what does the best contract candidate look like?

Beyond the traits you search for in ANY candidate, there are a few traits to look for specifically in contractors:

  1. Do they crave variety? If so, contract assignments are perfect. They will get the opportunity to work for different companies on a different projects and maybe even in different geographic locations. For many contractors, the opportunity to travel is a great perk of contract staffing.
  2. Do they need challenge? Companies often utilize contractors to complete complex projects or to meet tight deadlines, so you need someone who is up to the challenge.
  3. Do they want to make a difference. According to the MBO Partners' "State of Independence in America" report, 79% of independent/contract workers said that they like to know they are making a difference. Contract staffing arrangements allow them to fulfill this need quickly because companies usually want to see results from their contractors FAST.
  4. Are they focused? Because companies need contractors to make a quick impact, contractors need to be able to hit the ground running and stay on task with an eye always on the final outcome.  They don't have the luxury of time that many direct hires have.
  5. Do they have a zeal for learning? Career contractors see their work arrangement as a way to constantly pick up new skills and bolster their resume.

The key is to not just look for these traits when you have a contract opportunity. Which each potential candidate you encounter, ask yourself if they have these characteristics. If so, you may want to talk to them about contracting and keep them in mind for future contract job orders.  They will probably be happier working contract assignments, and you will have a solid candidate to add to your stable of contractors.

Debbie Fledderjohann is the President of Top Echelon Contracting, Inc.

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Tags: Agency Recruiting

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