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Contract Engineering – How to Choose a Provider

Contract Engineering – How to Choose a Provider

Choosing a suitable contract engineering service provider is different than partnering with a staffing agency for permanent placement recruiting.  If you need specialized expertise for a 3, 6, or 12 month assignment, it’s beneficial to find a service provider with a good track record of delivering solutions to companies like yours.

Depending on the nature of the expertise needed, you’ll need to choose a provider that specializes in the contract placement of the technical talent required.  This week’s blog topic will help your team choose a rock solid provider for your contract engineering needs.

Where to Start

Where do you turn when you need to hire a contractor for a technical position that is expected to last less than a year or two?  Going through a complete job search is time consuming and expensive, with no guarantee that the candidate will work out and no recourse if he/she does not.  Working with a contract engineering service provider that specializes in your industry will save you time, be less costly, and will give you access to a larger pool of qualified contractors.

If you’ve never worked with a service provider there are a few things you should keep in mind as you narrow down your search for the firm that offers the right fit for your company.

Background and Experience

When deciding on a firm to assist in placing engineers on a contract basis, it is important that the assigned recruiter’s education and background are in fields that will help him/her understand your company’s needs and whether the candidate’s skills are suited for the job.  Someone who is trained as an engineer, or who has worked in a highly technical field will have a better understanding of the skills a candidate must possess in order to excel.

Specialization

Many engineering jobs require specialized knowledge and training.  You would not hire a secretary to fill a position that calls for an engineer, so why would you hire a firm that specializes in placing secretaries to place an engineer with your company?  It is important that the agency staff has a good understanding of the job requirements, as well as the training, education, and skills a candidate will need to succeed in the job.

Proven Track Record

The agency should have a proven record of successful placements.  Before hiring a recruiter, ask for a client list or a list of references.  Are the majority of placements in technical or engineering fields in your industry?  Were the jobs completed successfully?

Was the recruiter responsive before and after the placement?  If there was a problem with the candidate after the job was filled, did the recruiter address it quickly?  Take the time to interview the service provider and check references to get a client’s perspective.

Extensive Talent Pool

Contractors oftentimes have highly specialized skills that have been developed over time through their work on different jobs.  When your job requires a very specific skill set, you are more likely to find someone with those skills through a firm that maintains a large talent pool.  Some candidates may be looking for a full-time permanent job, but are willing to work in a short-term position for the pay and experience.  Others enjoy the variety and flexibility provided by contract work.  A good service provider is going to vet the qualified candidates and send only those who accept the terms of the job.

Performance Guarantees

Work with an agency that stands behind their placements.  What are your guarantees if the contractor leaves before the job is completed?  What happens if you decide the candidate is not a good fit for your company?  How quickly can they have a list of candidates ready to interview for the position if a replacement is needed?  These questions should be addressed in your contract before you start interviewing candidates.

 

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