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9 Reasons Why You Should Consider Hiring a Contractor
by Kim Hirsch
In today’s unpredictable business world, permanent roles are not always suitable for the needs of an organization. Increasingly, companies are relying on contract or interim employees to augment their teams during periods of organizational change. Sometimes there is foresight to these changes such as busy season or project implementation, but there are also situations where employees are terminated or leave for other reasons, and employers are left in a pinch, needing talent immediately.
Here are nine scenarios that demonstrate why you may want to consider a contractor:
Companies often find themselves struggling with a lack of resources or skills for projects that may be one-off or short term. This can include undertakings such as IT or systems implementations, compliance requirements for new legislation or policy, and process/efficiency evaluations, among others. A contractor provides you with a more flexible arrangement to complete these projects without needing the commitment of a permanent employee.
Contract workers often result in cost savings to organizations. While they may earn a higher wage, you will often save on costs such as taxes, benefits, training and development, redundancy payouts and vacation pay that ultimately end up being costlier in the long-term. In addition, you can protect your organization from unforeseen legal issues and costs as most contractors maintain their own liability insurance.
Employees may go on leave for several reasons, such as parental leave, a sudden illness or sabbatical. Upon these departures, you may be required to bridge a skills gap or cover responsibilities for a certain period. It is helpful to utilize a contractor in these circumstances, as they can cover off a predetermined timeline or can be used for an indefinite period until you find a more permanent solution.
Imagine that you are in the middle of developing your budget and your CFO suddenly leaves. Contracting with an interim CFO is a great way to assist in this type of situation for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they are experts at entering an organization at difficult times. They have experience dealing with new processes, cultures and teams at a moment’s notice. Secondly, their productivity is instant as they are trained experts in their field and are used to navigating various systems and procedures. Hiring interim support not only helps fill the immediate need, but also gives the organization time to critically think and assess their next move.
As an organization, you may come across situations where you require specialized knowledge in a functional area. Whether it be, specialization in compensation, labour relations, project management, systems integration or technical experts in fields such as engineering, or geology, there are a variety of individuals with specific expertise that are available for contract or interim positions.
Many companies are faced with an aging workforce and as their businesses have grown, have neglected effective succession planning at the leadership level. In many cases, organizations have strong technical talent willing to take the next step, but have not yet mastered the strategic skills required to take on leadership roles. The use of an experienced interim professional with both a functional and mentoring/coaching mandate may be beneficial to the long-term success of organization. Furthermore, these individuals can be utilized in technical development and performance management scenarios.
In certain industries, workloads can fluctuate substantially at various times throughout the year. This can sometimes have negative consequences such as employee burnout and inefficient performance, or it may mean that you simply need more hands-on deck. For example, finance and accounting teams encounter a substantial increase in work load during month-end or year-end reporting. This is a great opportunity to utilize contract workers to help get through these busy periods.
If an organization is facing the departure of an executive, it will take time to find their replacement. The executive recruitment process can take anywhere from 3-6 months depending on the needs and state of the organization. While the search is taking place, it can be beneficial to contract an interim resource to avoid placing the burden on current executives.
In some cases, contract positions provide both candidates and clients with the opportunity to ascertain fit, skillset, culture and other factors before making the commitment to hire in a permanent capacity. This way, if you do decide to bring them onboard they will have already established themselves in their position and will be past the onboarding and training phase that a typical new hire requires.
As you can see, there are several scenarios where an organization can greatly benefit from hiring a contract or interim employee. Do you have additional examples for when your organization has utilized a contractor?