I knew it was bad when I picked up the phone.
“Robin,” croaked my long-term client, “I have a big problem and my time is running out.”
It sounded like it. She was calling from bed, where she was fighting a nasty summer flu. But as she continued, I realized that the flu was the least of it. “My recruiter just left to take another job, and I need a contactor ASAP.”
I understood the urgency. With a vacancy in that critical role, problems would cascade: jobs would be unfilled, goals would be unmet, and the hiring manager would be —
I knew the hiring manager. I didn’t even want to think about what he would be.
Fortunately, while I couldn’t have helped my client avoid the flu (although I do recommend frequent hand washing), I was totally prepared to help her find a contractor fast. After all, we had been strategically growing our business in this very direction.
As a recruiter, I knew that more and more businesses were hiring employees on a contract basis. In fact, Inc. recently noted that in 2012, more than a third of employers were planning to hire contract or temporary workers versus full-time employees. That’s up more than 25% from just three years ago.
It was easy to understand why. By bringing in contractors, organizations can pay attractive hourly rates and reduce hiring and training costs. Contractors can also have more flexibility in controlling and managing projects—which is so important for employers when staying alive is becoming increasingly tied to staying nimble.
No wonder so many are catching on.
It was 4pm. By 7pm—before my client had woken up from her next nap—I had two thoroughly vetted candidates ready to be interviewed. I had three more in the pipeline.
“Feel better,” I told her.
“Thanks, Robin,” she said. “I am.”