People are the most important part of any mobile working operation. You can have the best management systems and the most efficient tools but they’re not much use unless you also have capable and reliable workers.
This is what makes finding the right contractors such a vital part of operations management. It’s making the right calls during recruitment which allows you to avoid a host of headaches - inefficiency, disputes and compliance risks.
But unlike the world of BBC’s The Apprentice, an ops manager will rarely have the luxury of being able to forensically examine and assess candidates - decisions will need to be made fast, frequently and with minimal fuss.
Interviews may be done via video conferencing software such as Skype or over a phone call. It makes it important to find effective ways to quickly and efficiently assess candidates.
So what should you be asking, to make sure you’re getting it right?
Well, the specifics will obviously vary based on the job but there are three key interview questions for mobile workers that can help cut to the chase and improve the chances of finding the right candidates for the role.
What to ask when interviewing mobile workers:
- How do I know you can do the job?
- How are you used to being managed?
- Is this right for you?
How do I know you can do the job?
While entries on a CV can be embroidered, you’ll get a much clearer idea of somebody’s background by getting them to talk about it. By digging into some of the details, you’ll get a more accurate feel of the knowledge and experience they have.
As well as looking at general suitability, you should also be looking to double check they can meet the exact requirements of the role. Are they available for the times and locations required?
How are you used to being managed?
This is a particularly important area when dealing with mobile workers. You need to know whether a candidate is used to being micro-managed or if they prefer a more hands-off approach.
Identifying any potential clashes with your project requirements can save a lot of wasted time and resources further down the line. This question is best asked before you reveal too much about how your company operates as contractors are liable to tell you what you want to hear.
Is this right for you?
A key part of finding reliable contractors is making sure there’s a match between what they’re looking for and what you’re offering. This means making absolutely sure they understand the requirements of the role and the pay on offer.
If there are any areas of uncertainty, they need to be identified now. It’s also a chance to find out any non-monetary motivations that could prove to be mutually beneficial - they may be looking for experience in a particular area that matches the role.
While each interview is going to be different, these are the core areas that need to be covered when recruiting. You need to know a person has the ability, that they fit with your system and there are no quibbles over pay or responsibilities.
It’s a failure to tick one of these boxes that’s most likely to lead to future problems - for both managers and contractors.