The Benefits of Working Interviews

Jackie Shields

As it’s summer – and there has been a spell of good weather – the temp market has proved buoyant. At times, I’m sure it feels like everyone in the office is on holiday. As a business, it’s important to maintain the energy levels and momentum whilst everyone is distracted with thoughts of jetting off or simply eating their lunch outside.

The temp market moves fast. It’s all about getting in great talent who can hit the ground running and add value to your business on a short-term basis. And it’s precisely because of the pace of this market that more “traditional” recruitment processes may not be applicable. There is almost no sense in a three week recruitment path, incurring several rounds of interviews, for a job that only lasts a week. Temp candidates like to start work immediately, or they will typically move on to their next assignment.

That is why, in the past few months or so, I have successfully encouraged several of my clients to try working interviews.

To date, these have proved very popular. As an experienced temp controller, I get to know my candidates – and clients – in great detail so I know that, when I pair them together, I am matching the right attitude and skills set to the right need. I understand who will perform well in particular working environments. I know who will make a great “face” for your business. Therefore, working interviews is a natural way to speed up the recruitment process and secure great talent for your temporary vacancy.

The working interviews that I have set up so far have involved a candidate taking on an afternoon shift – say from 1 – 5pm – in full knowledge that this is their equivalent of a face-to-face with their line manager. Do they interact well with their team? Are they pleasant in their communication? Do they answer the phone well and can they perform the basic tasks required as part of the job?

It’s an incredibly useful trade off, as you get to observe the candidate in their work and see how quickly they can pick up the day-to-day activity required of the role. It is even more helpful if you have an environment that is particularly demanding, fast-paced or corporate.

Essentially, it’s a “try before you buy” for both parties: Clients can see whether a candidate is a good fit for their business needs and if they blend well with existing employees. Candidates get to examine whether or not a particular working environment and culture is one that suits them.

It’s important to remember to give the candidate plenty of opportunity to ask questions, meet co-workers, and get the feel of a typical day on the job. The purpose of a working interview isn’t to bury the candidate in tasks for four hours so that you get all your work done but they emerge feeling swamped and overwhelmed.

Working interviews are incredibly beneficial in the fast-moving temp market, particularly within Office Services. If it could help support your business – especially during the summer months – it might be time to ditch your traditional recruitment process when it comes to temp workers.

If you need a project completed, I can supply the right people to do it. Get in touch with me by calling 0141 353 8372 or email jshields@hrcrecruitment.co.uk

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