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Hiring a contractor – is it more trouble than it is worth?

 

 

 

Many of you have been there before: There is a large project coming up, or there is a short term surge in workload. You don’t need a permanent person, but a spare pair of hands for 3 to 6 months could just be the tonic you and your team need to get through the busy period. You’re an agile business and you’re going to make the right decision to get the job done but getting a contractor- well that seems like more trouble than it’s worth. After all, it is only for a short stint.

So let’s look at what are the benefits; the pitfalls to look out for and whether or not it is worth your investment in time, money (and sanity) to hire a contractor.

Benefits

  • Specialist Niche skills – Project and interim work can sometimes require very specialised skill sets. Contracting gives you the ability to get a resource that is an expert in one particular area for the time that you need.
  • Expertise – Contracting can allow you to “over hire” for the role. Over hiring is where you get person who is much more senior and experienced for the role. Their wealth of knowledge and experience will be an asset to you and your team. They will walk in to plug the gaps and know the role back to front. Not only that, but they can assist to make improvements in areas that would otherwise not happen.
  • Workplace morale – You need to think about the rest of the team. If the contractor was not doing this work, the team would be working back every night doing it themselves. There is only so much extra work that a team can take on and only so far that they can be pushed to extend themselves. Morale would inevitably suffer. A contractor will ensure you that can get the work done in a timely, efficient and team friendly manner.
  • Try before you buy – Who doesn’t like to test drive before they buy? Contracting allows you to do just that. Not only can they help you resolve your current workflow problems but you may come across an outstanding talent that you can use for a future perm role.
  • Drive real change – Additional resources can come with new, fresh ideas. If you are looking to introduce innovation and change, you may be surprised what a fresh pair of eyes can help you achieve. A good contractor can leave a legacy of changes that benefit the business well into the future. 

Challenges

  • Smaller Pool of candidates – The contract market is a much smaller pool of candidates than the perm market. Of course, this presents its challenges which a good recruitment partner can help you easily overcome so you won’t forgo quality due to your time restraints.
  • Commitment to length of contract – The contractor may not have loyalty to your organisation and could be looking at other perm roles with competitors. You can overcome this challenge by putting in a completion bonus. Generally, open and honest engagement with your contractor will get loyalty.
  • Lack of engagement – The contractor may not be engaged or could be treating the role as a stop gap measure. Engagement can be improved by On-boarding your contractor correctly so you can ensure that they feel part of the team, that they know their priorities and help you ensure that they are a high value return.  

As a specialist in the interim market I obviously feel the benefits outweigh the risks. Like any piece of recruitment, take your contract hiring process seriously and that way you are far more likely to get the results your business needs. The fact is; a well-managed process with clear goals and clear communication can significantly reduce the risks and make it a worthwhile investment.

What has been your experience with hiring contractors? What is worth your investment? Talk to our contracting team about how to make your next contracting experience a successful one.

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