The business benefits of hiring a contractor through uncertain times

by Heat Recruitment

 Could hiring a contractor be the short-term solution to the challenges brought on by Brexit?

With Brexit looming, UK businesses face an uncertain future – and so do their employees. Many companies are keen to avoid making long-term commitments when our economy could shift so drastically over the coming months. When it comes to addressing skills shortages, this is no different. Contractors are a fast, short-term solution to the problem, but soon it won’t be quite as straightforward as it once was.

As of April 2020, the reformed IR35 legislation will be extended to the private sector – and it’s already in place in the public sector. This means that employers will become responsible for ensuring that their contractor’s employment status is correct. But this shouldn’t deter them from hiring a contractor, as they bring plenty of benefits to the company too.

Playing the waiting game

Although some companies may be refraining from making any new, long-term commitments, it’s still business as usual for most. However, when an employee decides to leave the company, it’s not uncommon for a contractor to be hired to complete their day-to-day tasks instead. For short-term projects, this can be a more cost-effective and risk-free solution than hiring a permanent member of staff as a replacement. Contractors are also highly specialist, avoiding any steep training costs.

Filling in the gaps

When Britain makes its departure from the EU, we’re expecting to see a significant number of talented EU citizens leave the UK to return to mainland Europe. In fact, we’ve already seen a 95 per cent fall in EU nationals joining the UK workforce. Many of these employees brought highly specialised skills to our workforces, and as a result, skills gaps are now opening up across all industries.

Steering clear of commitments

Hiring a permanent member of staff is a long-term commitment, and you’ll need to consider fixed overheads, employee benefits and ongoing training. From the computer they’ll use for day-to-day tasks to the qualifications they may need in the future; you’ll need to invest a significant amount of time and money into your new hire. In contrast, contractors are a no-strings-attached alternative. There’s no hiring process and no extra costs being thrown into the equation.

Utilising specialised skillsets

Sometimes, your team may just not have the niche skillset needed to successfully complete a project. Hiring a contractor means you’ll be able to pick and choose the person that’s just right for the task you have in mind, eliminating the need for retraining your existing staff. If you’re testing the waters before you branch into a niche area, perhaps hiring a contractor is best place for you to start.

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