Hiring managers nationwide believe the quality of their permanent staffs to be significantly higher than the quality of their consulting staffs, according to the results of a survey released by Yoh, a leading provider of talent and outsourcing services and a Day & Zimmermann company.
The survey asked 499 hiring managers selected at random to grade the quality of their permanent and contract staffs on a five letter scale, from “A” for “excellent” to “F” for “failure”. Only 17% of employers surveyed gave their contract staff an “excellent” rating, the highest available. Nearly twice that number—33%—of respondents rated their permanent staff as “excellent.”
Overall, 60% of respondents rated their consultants as above average, grading them with an “A” or a “B”, compared to 81% of permanent workers ranked above average by employers.
Respondents from the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, for example, rated permanent talent higher than respondents in other industries, with 43% of permanent staffs in pharma and biotech rated as “excellent,” and 19% of consulting staffs rated “excellent.” In addition, 86% of respondents in pharma and biotech rated permanent staffs as above average with a score of “A” or “B,” while 67% offered the same rating to consulting staffs.
“Consulting talent is not a commodity and shouldn’t be treated as such by employers or staffing firms,” says Jim Lanzalotto, vice president of strategy and marketing for Yoh. “The absence of best hiring practices for contract talent by both parties has led to this perception that consultants are not of the same quality as their permanent counterparts. Companies that best understand their business needs and can effectively communicate those requirements to a staffing partner will find the quality of their consultants increases dramatically over time, and ultimately can meet or exceed the quality of their permanent staff.”
Yoh believes hiring managers are rating full-time staff significantly higher than contract staff for a number of reasons, including:
•Not using a specialized partner to find contract talent and a weak level of effort put into hiring and managing contract
•Poor integration of contract and full-time staff; and
•Contract workers are often kept on payroll through responsibility changes, when often they aren’t qualified to take on
different positions or tasks.
Front line executives echo the findings of the Yoh survey. “We’re always looking for experienced and skilled consulting talent to complement our full time staff,” says Sue Baker, vice president of research and development at Vertex Inc., the leading provider of tax technology solutions. “But it’s very challenging, time-consuming, and costly to find high-impact, talented people with all the right qualifications in the technology market. Those people are out there – you just need the right process and partner to help you find them.”
The rapidly growing life sciences industry values high-quality temporary talent as well. “Hiring the most qualified contract staff is crucial to an early stage life sciences company’s growth,” says Brenda Gavin, Partner at Quaker BioVentures, a $280 million life sciences venture capital fund. “The development of biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, and health care technology relies heavily on the highly trained and knowledgeable professionals brought in to get the job done. But young and emerging companies often don’t have the resources to seek them out, resulting in less than optimal results if you don’t understand what the company needs and don’t have the right partner to find the right people for the job.”