If you’re recruiting for a permanent role, a skilled temporary contractor can be a good temporary stopgap until you find a new long-term team member.
Independent contractors are also a way to maintain quality of work while an employee’s on parental leave, off sick for an extended time or taking a sabbatical.
Let’s look at how contractors are a useful short-term staffing solution - as well as some unexpected ways their experiences and skills can help your business.
One-off tasks or short-term projects might call for specialist skills or expertise your business either doesn’t have, or suitable staff may already be focusing on another project so there’s currently a capacity issue.
Contractors with specialisms in particular areas are the solution, particularly for work that lands at short notice with a fast turnaround.
They may also have skill sets currently be outside of your organisation’s current realm, such as the ones needed for managing change, or introducing disruptive technologies like robotics and automation.
While contractors may cost more per job or per hour, they tend to work out more cost-effective in the long run.
The fact that they’re not paid a salary is a major issue. But other overheads associated with contractors are lower compared to permanent employees, too.
Contractors are self-employed workers operating as sole traders, partnerships or limited liability companies, so pay their own tax, National Insurance and pension contributions (plus don’t require holiday, sick or overtime pay). They’re also responsible for their own training, permits and professional licenses.
Whether it’s for occasional help, or focused support to get a specific project up and running, many businesses rely on bringing in short-term resources without the need to commit long-term.
From flexible working hours to the scope of the work that needs doing, it’s up to your business to spell out what’s needed at that moment.
This flexibility also suits organisations with seasonal fluctuations. Ramping up permanent resources during busy times could lead to redundancies when things grow quieter - but not so with contractors, who are temporary by nature.
Another reason it pays to find expertise from third parties? Contractors are usually primed and ready to get straight to work, and available at relatively short notice.
With no need for a long induction process or training programme, it’s also straightforward to get them onboard and working at full speed.
With research suggesting that a new member of staff paid a salary of £42,000 who turns out to be a mistake can actually cost a business over £132,000, hiring the wrong permanent employee can work out to be an expensive error.
Engaging a contractor mitigates the risk of bringing a poor permanent choice to the team if you use the booking to assess them for a potential permanent role.
If it becomes clear they’re not a good fit for the role, your mistake will work out far less costly in the long run.
Working for multiple organisations and exposure to diverse working practices gives many contractors a broader experience than many permanent employees.
This industry and sector knowledge can bring new ideas and insights. As outsiders, they can offer a fresh perspective on existing issues that may have been muddied by internal conflicts - helping your business navigate the best way to implement the changes it needs.
And as contractors share their expertise and pass on best practice, you may find the standards and skills of existing staff rises, too. Through our work at RHL placing skilled contractors in many sectors of industry, our clients have told us first hand of this unexpected benefit.
This goes to show that although contractors can be a great quick fix staffing solution, they’re worth their weight in gold when it comes to seeing your business thrive.
Sourcing good contractors directly can be time-consuming and difficult. At RHL, we’ve built up a extensive database of skilled, experienced contractors to help you deliver the right support for your business. Get in touch to discuss your specific needs and requirements.