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When you hear about contract-to-direct arrangements, you usually hear about how client companies use them to test drive candidates. These arrangements give companies the chance to see a potential new hire “in action” rather than just depending on the typical interview and hiring process to determine whether they are the right fit. They can evaluate a candidate’s skills and work ethic before they make a direct hire commitment.

But a recent Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) article shows that it’s not just employers who are nervous about new employment relationships. Citing a study conducted by Development Dimensions International (DDI), SHRM reported that only 51% of new hires are confident in their decision to take a new job. A big reason for this uncertainty is that companies fail to paint a realistic picture of the job. Companies that provide “realistic job previews” had higher percentages of new hires who felt good about accepting the job offer.

Contract-to-direct arrangements are the ultimate realistic job previews. Candidates can try the job first and get a “behind-the-scenes” look at the company so they can determine if it is a cultural fit for them. And for those considering relocation, it allows them to try the geographic location as well before they sell their house and move their families.

Some may view contract-to-direct arrangements as just another hoop candidates have to jump through to get hired. But in reality, it is an audition for both the candidate AND the company to determine if they meet each other’s needs before they make the direct hire commitment. By providing the contract-to-direct option to your clients and candidates, you can help both parties make a decision they can feel good about.

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