Creative Employment Thoughts

by Edward Henkler on April 15, 2014

As a hiring manager, why would you ever elect to hire someone based solely on an interviewing process if there was an option for a contract-to-hire or similar onboarding approach?  I would ask the same question of someone seeking a new employer.  Why wouldn’t you prefer a trial period, which would allow you to get to know your potential employer?  Apprentice, intern, and co-op programs have provided this two-way evaluation opportunity for as many years as I’ve been working and probably many more.  Let’s return to the creative employment theme.  If you’re struggling to find employment or perhaps just want to be sure your next employer is a solid fit, propose an intermediate period as a consultant or contractor.  Perhaps you can take on a special project which highlights your skills and addresses a need for the potential employer.  It’s an easier commitment threshold and easier for everyone if it doesn’t work out.

Las Vegas wedding chapel

It’s funny what we’ll do in a business setting that we would never consider in any other part of our lives.  Would you marry someone without dating them other than in Las Vegas? (and we know what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas…)  Studies show that 40% of executives will leave within 18 months of being hired, at a significant cost to all involved.  Why not begin the relationship as a consultant or contractor?  Interviews tend to uncover the “shiny object”…the candidate who presents a superficially excellent appearance and is glib.  Judging whether they’ll fit with your company culture takes a bit more time.  Unless you’re in an industry with readily measured performance attributes, it’s also challenging to know if the superstar on paper will really deliver.

Switching back to the candidate’s perspective, it is also difficult to know whether you’ll enjoy working in a company or for a specific supervisor.  There are some ugly interview stories but in general, everyone is on their best behavior.  The interviewer is selling their company as much as they’re interviewing you.  Distractions will be minimized and the “courtship” may include a social aspect.  It’s a fair bet that the atmosphere will be different if the team is up against a tight deadline.

I’m calling it creative employment but perhaps it’s just common sense?

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