We’ve been supporting a wide range of businesses with our Pharma contract recruitment solutions since 2006, so we understand first-hand the advantages of hiring contractors. Many companies see the benefits of hiring contractors as a temporary quick-fix solution until a permanent hire is found, helping to bridge shortfalls in staff numbers or project needs.
However, it is important to understand that there are both long-term and short-term advantages to taking on contractors within the right circumstances.
When is the right time to hire a contractor?
Contractors tend to specialise in specific skill sets and are renowned for their flexibility and ability to work remotely. Semi-perm workers can create an ideal solution where an organisation has a critical business need but limited time or resources available.
There are numerous scenarios where it makes sense to consider hiring specialist contractors:
- When working remotely
Contract staff are accustomed to working remotely and hitting the ground running, so can be the ideal solution to fulfil a business need with minimal onboarding requirement.
Due to their experience, contractors require little or no induction, resources or training seamlessly transitioning into a position. Experience of working remotely means that their communication via digital means is typically advanced. This means you can maximise their output immediately.
- For time-critical projects
The breadth of experience contractors will have around project timelines mean that they are adept at prioritising tasks, managing expectations and working to deadlines. The very nature of contractors mean that they can be utilised for short-term projects without employers having to commit to permanent employment.
- Temporary shortages
Freelancers or contractors can be a perfect solution when seeking someone with in-depth, specialist knowledge.
During busy periods with an increased workload, contract workers can alleviate a short-term skills or resource gap. Hiring a contractor can also fulfil a skills shortage temporarily, whilst you continue to recruit a permanent position.
- Business transformation & change
Large-scale development projects can be very resource-intensive, demanding the temporary input of professionals with targeted technology expertise to implement fundamental changes to your business.
Senior technology specialists are a great option to oversee these large and often complex projects.
- Workforce contingency
Contract workers provide invaluable contingency in the instances there are time gaps between employees leaving or starting at your business. For example, where a new permanent hire has a six-month notice period, an interim manager could be a recommended option to temporarily fulfil a role during this time.
- Legislative changes
Changes in legislature could mean that you require resources to join the team quickly to help successfully adjust to performing under new legal frameworks.
What are the advantages of hiring a contractor?
- New ideas and skills
Contractors are specialists in their field due to the variety of businesses and environments that they’ve worked in. This means they can offer unique insights and solutions to existing company problems or new projects and generally have a very consultative approach to problems.
Contract workers can also help to avert internal company bias-ness and facilitate conflicting perceptions to help direct the business in the most effective way possible. Their fresh perspectives can generate new ideas and help to implement required changes.
- Cost effective staffing
Contractors are cost-effective resources so outsourcing is a great way of saving money in comparison to taking on permanent employees.
Examples of this include:
- Reduced overhead costs
- Insurance covered by agency
- Tax and pension dealt with by contractor
- Controlled staffing budget
Contract staff are compensated only for the number of hours they put into a project, and often have their own equipment to carry out tasks. This reduces financial pressures and frees up cash flow.
- More flexibility
Contractors offer the advantage of flexible working hours and willingness to accommodate inevitable changes during their contract. This is something that can only really be achieved through contracted staff.
Contract workers can be productive immediately and hit the ground running, granting businesses greater efficiency, eliminating the time and additional costs of training new staff.
Rather than having to commit to the long-term requirements of permanent employees, contractors give businesses the flexibility to assess changes in the market and respond accordingly. In practice, businesses can expand whilst contracting their workforce as needed with reduced commitments.
- Boosting productivity
Contractors offer a quick fix solution to regular employee absences which can impact on business productivity and team motivation.
Whether its maternity leave, sick leave or peak season annual leave, contractors can be very helpful short-term solutions, eliminating the need to take on new and costly permanent employees by bridging shortages internal skills and headcount gaps.
- Improved hiring decisions
Searching for the best quality permanent staff in the market can take some time to complete, with the period between interview to offer stage often taking several weeks.
The notice period for middle to senior level professionals also needs to be taken into consideration, as this can be 3 or even 6 months, and without careful planning business critical work can be delayed.
Contractors relieve time pressures for hiring managers and help to minimise panic-hiring.
- Speed of process
Typically a contractor can start within a week or two and the recruitment process should be much quicker too. This means gaps can be filled quickly, affording businesses better continuity.
In today’s extremely candidate short markets, contractors are being utilised more and more to support the above objectives, increasing efficiencies whilst offering more flexibility.
- Smoother international hiring
For businesses that want to hire overseas, hiring international workers as contractors can help to minimise any complications surrounding visa applications, work permits and payroll.
- Risk-free test runs
Hiring employees on a contract basis allows businesses to test the relevancy of any new role creations with the business and to finetune the structure of new vacancies. Contractors can also be used to assess individuals before committing to hiring somebody full time.
Looking to hire contractors as part of your recruitment strategy?
We have a dedicated team working solely on contract recruitment roles, headed up by Founding Director, Debbie Anderson.
The team offers a thorough process to ensure all required checks are carried out and documentation are in place before your contractor starts. We'll then be on hand throughout to support you both, making the journey as smooth and efficient as possible.