Quality Magazine

Key to Quality: Do-It-Yourself Hiring

June 8, 2010


Now is not the time for DIY hiring. With the economy improving incrementally, companies and laboratories in need of nondestructive testing (NDT) professionals continue to be cautious about spending. One way they are holding the line on costs is by turning to a placement firm to save on hiring and benefits. If this seems counterintuitive, consider the savings that can be realized by having a placement firm provide a “ready to go” list of candidates for your open positions.

The process of hiring a qualified NDT person is time-consuming, expensive and demands a focused effort and attention in order to be successful. You’ll need to spend time and money in the placement of ads, screening resumes, interviewing candidates, checking references, and negotiating compensation and benefits. Add to this the need to comply with a host of federal and state employment laws and practices and the hiring process can become an ordeal for even the most experienced business manager.

There are two placement options available for NDT workers: contract placements and permanent placements.

In some cases a contract hire can be used as a test run and turned into a permanent hire if the individual works out.

When you look at your hiring needs, ask whether the need is temporary, or whether you need to fill the position as a permanent addition to your team. Placement firms have access to a pool of talent that can serve both short- and longer-term needs, or even part-time needs.

If you decide to use a placement firm, be realistic in describing the job requirements and salary. Be as precise as possible in defining and communicating the job tasks, knowledge, skill set, abilities and experience you expect from a candidate. A placement firm can take much of the guesswork and headache out of the hiring process and may already have a pool of qualified candidates ready to fill your needs. This can result in a prompt filling for an open position.

When a contact placement is needed, the placement firm will hire the candidate, pay their salary, payroll taxes, workers’ compensation insurance and federal and state unemployment insurance. The firm will invoice you weekly and will need prompt payment in order to meet its legal payroll obligation to its contract employees. As the employer of the contract worker, the placement firm is required to follow all federal and state employment laws, taking this burden off your shoulders.

As the need for qualified and experienced NDT personnel expands, consider using a specialized placement firm to identify the right person for the job. It will save you time, trouble and, in the long run, money.