Contract versus permanent

The benefits of hiring a professional contractor in the current climate

According to the The Future of Workforce report,  66% of employers plan to increase their reliance on contractors between 2023 and 2024. The survey found that 79% of employees believe contractors promote innovation within their business and 85% believe that partnerships with contractors enable access to specialised skills or expertise.

With market predictions suggesting an increased demand for global contractors in the New Year and a bright future for contractors, we take a look at some of the benefits of hiring a contractor in the current climate.

What does a contractor look like in 2023?

Contractors serve a specific purpose: to deliver clear outcomes within a specific time frame. In the context of marketing, that could be to create a marketing strategy for the organisation or in another example, a company may be looking to re-platform their ecommerce business, requiring a senior and technical ecommerce expert to lead the programme of work. Contractors in 2023 will deliver strategy and or projects.

Typically, clients need to hire contractors because either they’ve uncovered an urgent problem (i.e. – someone has left the business at short notice perhaps for sickness or they have been exited or an unforeseen disaster has struck the business) or the company is entering a new phase in their business cycle and lack the internal skills and capability. Perhaps they are about to undergo a business transformation for 1-2 years and so they need a specialist who can deliver this and then exit. Whatever the reason, contractors are a vital business function in the current climate

Times of uncertainty

One of the key benefits of hiring a contractor is to help during times of uncertainty and lack of visibility, when it can often be a better choice than  investing in a permanent hire. Mainly because a contractor by nature should be able to deliver quickly without the need for ‘cultural integration’ and can focus on the deliverables they have been assigned to do. If the business outlook deteriorates, then the company can quickly release the contractor from the assignment, typically within a week. This is part and parcel of contracting and is a risk any contractor takes and offers the company a flexible resource.

Unemotional decision making

Professional contractors have the ability to make unemotional decisions, because they are not meant to be a permanent fixture in the organisation, this is largely beneficial for companies looking for someone to get the job done efficiently. They are paid per day, often at high day rates, to provide specific expertise and guidance and to tell the business what they need to do. A contractor should not need to worry about company politics, rather they should be used for their expert knowledge to help the business deliver a specific outcome.

Contractors aren’t always full-time

For organisations concerned that they can’t afford a contractor full time or don’t have a need for one, a contractor doesn’t always need to be employed for five  days a week. Contractors often work on a 2-3 days per week basis or less, if the organisation needs a strategic input on a less frequent basis. This could be similar to how a Non Executive Director might operate.

Word of mouth

Finally, good contractors know other good contractors. If you are running a major change programme then often good contractors will refer to other good contractors they have worked with in previous engagements, meaning you benefit from the skills and experience and peace of mind of knowing the investment is well spent.

There are many advantages associated with hiring professional contractors; from access to specialist knowledge and niche skill sets through to cost effective solutions and time saving benefits – there really isn’t much reason not to consider adding these professionals into your team. With careful selection and management, professional contractors will help ensure that your business remains agile during turbulent times allowing you to deliver clear outcomes within a specific timeframe all in a cost-effective manner.

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