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Project work valuable for evaluating prospective hires

January 7 2004 - Enterprising job hunters have long sought to get a foot in the door as a way into their next job. A new survey for Robert Half Technology shows employers also embrace this approach. 63% of chief information officers (CIOs) polled said that it is beneficial for potential new hires to work on a project or contract basis before being offered a full-time position. And 1-in-5 CIOs said this strategy was very valuable.

The nationwide survey includes responses from over 1,400 CIOs taken from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with one hundred or more employees. The exercise was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Robert Half Technology, a major provider of information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis.

CIOs in the survey were asked, "How valuable is it to have a prospective employee work on a project or contract basis as a means of evaluation for full-time employment within your IT department?" Responses were:

Very valuable
Somewhat valuable
Not at all valuable
Don't know/no answer

"Interviews and reference checks alone don't always provide a complete picture of an individual's on-the-job performance," said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology. "Project assignments allow managers to make a firsthand assessment of not only technology expertise but also the individual's interpersonal skills, which aren't always evident from his or her work history."

Lee added that by evaluating prospective employees on a contract or short- term basis first, firms can minimize the productivity losses and costs associated with poor hiring decisions. "Companies often use this approach to determine if they have a full-time staffing need or if the work can be handled by a combination of project professionals and existing employees."

Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of IT professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network engineering and technical support and has more than 100 locations in North America and Europe.

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