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Thinking Outside The Box: When Should you Hire a Contractor?

Whether you are a business that employs contractors regularly, or if you have never utilized one before, there are many reasons why employing a contractor’s services can provide relief, value, or a much-needed solution to a problem within your company.

To shed some light on when exactly businesses should consider hiring staff on a contract basis, Associate Director Chris Reid has shared some of the top reasons that he and his team are being asked to find contractors in the current hiring market.


As a trial for a new position

Sometimes it can be beneficial to trial a new position with a temporary member of staff in the first instance before taking the plunge to hire someone permanently. This way, you can see how this new role would look in practice, how they would fit into the company and interact with different levels of the business, and what sort of impact they would be able to have on the team. Particularly if you are struggling to obtain sign-off for this particular role, this is a great way to test whether it is a good idea to bring someone on to cover this position on a permanent basis; a contractor will be able to give a good idea of what that individual will be able to bring to the table and contribute to the business in the future.


To deliver on a specific project

It is often the case that there are specific projects within a business’ workload that are either too extensive, too advanced, or too time-consuming to be managed by existing members of the team. Or, it may be the case that this specific project requires a set of skills that your existing workforce doesn’t possess, but will be unlikely to require going forward. In this case, it is a far better outcome to decide to hire a contractor to accelerate and manage the process than it is to struggle along with the existing team and overload them. Equally, you will risk losing out on business should you fail to manage the project properly and successfully. The addition of a contractor for this purpose is a common occurrence for many businesses because it offers peace of mind and assurance of a job well done.


As a stopgap between hiring

In a highly competitive hiring market, many businesses we are speaking to are struggling to recruit. The fight for talent is fierce, and many positions are going months without being filled. The knock-on effect of this gap within a team is clear. Projects are put on hold, efficiency decreases, and the company’s bottom line starts to be affected. The loss of income versus the cost it would take to bring someone on a temporary basis to cover the role needs to be fully considered. Although the ideal outcome for businesses would be able to recruit and hire for their open vacancies swiftly, the reality is that this is no longer viable. In the current hiring market, businesses need to appreciate that their vacancy is likely to remain unfilled for a much longer duration, as businesses are going above and beyond to retain and counteroffer their existing staff, as well as battling it out to hire new ones. For this reason, it is likely to become more and more commonplace (and a much-needed solution) for businesses to hire temporary contractors to plug these gaps.


To cut costs

Hiring a contractor to save money may sound counter-intuitive; after all, contractors generally charge a premium for their services because of the high standard of work they are able to complete, and the efficiency with which they can do it. But, when you are working with a limited budget, committing to a permanent member of staff may not be financially viable. Particularly when considering the current economic climate, many businesses are looking to minimize risks and reduce ongoing costs wherever possible. Although businesses may balk at the daily rate for a contractor initially, it is more cost-efficient to employ someone on a temporary basis than to commit to the ongoing costs of holiday, sick pay, pensions, and other associated costs that permanent staff bring. Equally, the risk to the business is much lower; should a contractor’s services no longer be required, or the budget for that area of work is reduced, there is no difficult redundancy process to follow. Finally, the value that a contractor brings to the business cannot be overstated; their premiums are as such because they are able to complete tasks and projects to the highest standard, and could provide the kickstart that your business needs to help them see a much greater level of success and revenue going forward.


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