For those working in HR, recruitment and resourcing agencies, the process of enabling a candidate and client to get the best out of contracted work involves several key elements.
Throughout, there needs to be an effective line of communication so that both parties are singing from the same hymn sheet, and the agent is getting the right talent for the job.
But what does the onboarding process entail when introducing an IT contractor to ensure an immediate impact within a new organization? How long should it take, and what do those doing the hiring need to consider in terms of the crucial tech-based skillsets to deliver successful projects?
1. Put an efficient process in place
First and foremost, it’s the duty of an agent to truly understand what it is that both the employee and employer desire from the vacancy. Discussing each requirement in detail – and speaking regularly about what the onboarding process entails with both parties – will help to not only uncover vital details about the job and organization itself but can also help them to understand what they need to do in order to fill an IT contractor role successfully.
However, none of this can be achieved without having effective communication throughout. Clients and candidates don’t want to lose faith in one another because the agent hasn’t offered the valuable information they need. And, in the same breath, they need to underline exactly what technical skills they both offer, or if any changes are taking place which could ultimately affect the available position.
Having a seamless process in place that delivers openness and honesty between each party is imperative in building strong relationships and delivering a smooth onboarding process.
2. Set expectations
What’s the point in keeping recruits and clients in the dark about what the role entails, and the skills they need to do a good job? A personable and knowledgeable agent who has been able to garner the crucial details needed should be able to determine what technical skillsets suit a particular organization and project.
Other elements need to be considered too, such as finding out whether the recruit requires more support if they’re relatively inexperienced, or what they have to utilize to the fullest to ensure their tech skills are being maximized.
Setting clear timeframes for the employee, in particular, will enable them to understand what will be expected of them and their key responsibilities, in order to complete a contract successfully.
Within the tech sector, in particular, a lot of clients prefer to hand over details of their internal processes to the agent to handle so that all of the ins and outs are translated to a project worker at the earliest opportunity.
As well as knowing what the absence, holidays and illness policies are, IT contractors also need to know about invoicing – who to send them to, when and when these will be paid.
There also needs to be a consideration around behavior while actually doing the job. Being a representative of the agency, it’s the resourcing specialist’s job to underline how they must act so they deliver the very best performance. Very often they’re also serving as the agent’s client on a customer site, so professionalism is key.
A factor which largely depends on the role itself, an agent can help with the onboarding by highlighting what recruits should expect from the organization they’re joining – and how important it is to the employer.
For example, an IT project manager will have to quickly get to know their team, figure out whose tech skillsets suit which particular area of the plan, and how much support everyone needs as a whole.
The burden to integrate and be a part of the team ultimately lies with the person joining the firm, but an agent can certainly alleviate any fears, nerves, or answer key questions, to prepare them for an easier start in a new environment. Any tips they can give about the team they are joining around skillsets etc should be handed over professionally.
Again, this is another element where the onus falls on the recruit to understand their role – and put the groundwork set by the agent, into practice.
Onboarding a temporary member of staff could require a lot of advice-giving and guidance, but it’s also about understanding what tech skills fit into which organization.
Soft skills play a huge role too – a personable approach should help to create a clearer picture as to what the client and candidate truly need. By caring about the quality of the hire, an agent can make key decisions and understand the direction a company – and its staff – want to take.
Many IT firms offer laptops on arrival with their tech programs already installed to help a contractor complete the required tasks. However, agents shouldn’t always think this is the case – particularly within the tech sector – as plenty of companies will expect workers to have their own kit.
An efficient agent should be able to find out these details when they first get to know their client, and what they offer within a package.
Considering each stage of an IT contractor hire, a running theme throughout is having the ability to communicate effectively. By being well-versed in the company and candidate’s needs, agents can deliver what tech skills are needed where, and which personalities are best suited for a particular firm.
Conducting vital research from the get-go will enable professionals to assemble the required information in order to complete a swift – and successful – onboarding process of an IT contractor.
About the author: Alex Wilkinson is Chief Operating Officer at cloud tech resourcing specialist, Cranford Group.