As a specialist recruiter in the IT & Transformation sector, I am constantly speaking with a multitude of companies who are reluctant to engage contractors. Often, those who are hesitant haven’t utilised this model before and I find this reluctance is derived from dogma, instead of a reasoned business decision.
With over 20 years’ experience and evidence in demonstrating the value of contracting services, I would like to discuss the four main benefits of engaging contractors as part of your total workforce strategy.
On the surface, a professional IT contractor will cost more than a permanent employee. However, it’s crucial to remember that the additional benefits, such as health insurance or superannuation, don’t apply. You’re not permanently hiring someone, you’re engaging with an expert to solve a very specific but temporary problem and should aim to get nothing short of a ‘best in breed’ solution.
Independent contractors are high performers who add immediate value from day one. Having the timescales, costs, benefits and agreed outcomes identified will ensure that the engagement with a contractor is proactive and efficient. So the real question is: what are the true costs when these pre-requisites are not met? When these requirements are met through generic vendor resources, the overall costs can end up being higher, and that’s before you consider the actual quality of work.
In exchange for becoming a specialist within their field, independent contractors forgo any career advancement potential that a permanent employee would otherwise look forward to. When your business needs to undertake a new project, it’s unlikely that a surplus of the skills and experience you need will be present within your organisation. When that gap appears in your workforce, utilising the contract market is the fastest method of closing it through expert knowledge combined with a simpler hiring process.
Ever since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, employers have been apprehensive when hiring large volumes of permanent staff, due to the extended financial commitment and the associated risks. Independent contractors are covered by different laws and regulations to permanent employees, and the ease of releasing their contracts make them an attractive solution for employers in need of skilled people for specific tasks or projects.
Return on Investment
An independent contractor’s primary function is to contribute to your solution, but they can also offer a considerable range of additional benefits. A good contractor will bring fresh industry insight and perspective in to your organisation, which can help towards upskilling your permanent workforce. Properly engaging contractors will allow you to relieve stress from your permanent employees by balancing workloads and avoiding worker burnout. Skilled contractors can also be assigned strenuous, less glamorous tasks which allows permanent staff to be rewarded with more plum assignments.
As highlighted above, there are many benefits to engaging a contractor. So, if you are in an organisation that dismisses contractors because of the market rate they attract, reconsider the bigger picture. Expert-level contractors will always remain in high demand, but ignoring the benefits they can provide you and your business, could be a mistake.
I’ve only highlighted four of the main benefits of utilising contracting solutions but there are so many more. For a conversation about how engaging with an independent contractor can add real, immediate value to your company, by scaling your team/project to meet the needs of your business, reach out today.