Navigating the job search process in 2021 can be especially challenging, with domestic and international economic uncertainty continuing to affect the business landscape. For many organizations, the contract-to-hire approach is becoming increasingly attractive as a way to create flexible staffing models and bring on new employees in an uncertain market. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the contract-to-hire workforce for professional and legal positions in the Chicago metropolitan area, and how to get started with this approach.

First, contract-to-hire (or C2H) provides a measure of flexibility not found with straight hires, and it permits employers to plan their staffing mix without making lengthy commitments. Under this model, a prospective employee agrees to work for a predetermined length of time, say six months. This gives the employer the opportunity to evaluate the candidate in a lower-risk atmosphere where job performance and fit with the team can be assessed prior to a permanent hire.

Second, contract-to-hire can also work in the opposite direction. For example, candidates can use this approach to “try on” a position before committing to a fully permanent role. This approach is increasingly common in professional positions, as job seekers look for the right career fit and employers seek the right talent for their particular needs.

Third, hiring contract-to-hire employees is also a viable way to avoid over-committing to a longer-term hire when economic conditions remain volatile. Companies today are often seeking the most cost-effective staffing options possible, and contract-to-hire can also be used to “scale” staffing during peak times of the year when more help is needed.

Fourth, the contract-to-hire process inherently requires specific legal considerations, and it’s important for employers to be aware of their local, state and federal regulation before making any contract-to-hire hires. Generally speaking, employers in the Chicago metropolitan area should be aware of local wage agreements, safety regulations, exemptions, and other key elements of the C2H legal framework.

Finally, employers who are looking to hire contract-to-hire employees should also consider hiring an experienced attorney. This is especially important in the legal domain, where local regulations can vary significantly according to jurisdiction. Fortunately, there are a variety of services now available which make it easy to connect with experienced attorneys who specialize in contract-to-hire hires in the Chicago area. One such organization, UpCounsel, specializes in providing on-demand legal counsel to organizations of all sizes, and clients can view profiles which contain ratings and reviews of their online attorneys prior to making a hiring decision.

Contract-to-hire is becoming an increasingly prevalent staffing tool in 2021, and it is important for employers to understand the legal and regulatory requirements when hiring in the Chicago metropolitan area. As with any hiring process, hiring an attorney with specific experience can be beneficial, and services such as UpCounsel make it easy to find the right counsel for your particular legal needs.