With the fluid nature of the IT industry – where technology and the demands of business, clients and users often change quickly – there can be great benefits to a having a flexible, on-demand workforce. While a skilled team of permanent staff are an essential part of the ‘long game’, contractors are an excellent option for any organisations seeking a quick injection of skill and knowledge to push through tight spots. Often used in digital agency environments as the perfect solution for fluctuating project-based work, contractors can also be a great addition to permanent teams in any industry.
Getting contractors on board can be one of the easiest ways to up-skill your current staff on new technology and help with the work load at the same time. By the nature of their work contractors usually come with a breadth of experience far greater than that of permanent employees, gained in a variety of industries, projects, teams and work environments. This provides experienced contractors with valuable perspective and the ability to draw on other successful or not so successful projects and methods. As a result, senior contractors can be a great source of practical, tested consulting advice.
Primarily utilised for targeted projects within their primary skillset rather than general BAU work, contractors often become fairly specialised in specific technologies and/or industries. With specialisation and varied project exposure, good contractors hit the ground running, making the necessary connections and gathering required information quickly. Training up existing team members can be a long process – a quick injection of this concentrated experience and knowledge from a contractor well-versed in your industry and chosen technology can significantly improve a team’s ability to deliver fast results. On the surface, contractors may appear to be costlier than permanent staff, but speed is the key: in most cases a quality contractor will be cheaper in the long run than an employee who may take much longer to do the same job, or worse, not do the job well.
We also find that many of the best senior IT professionals, including developers, designers, testers, business analysts and systems engineers, prefer to work on a contract basis. With excellent technical and interpersonal skills, the top level professionals are in high demand, and enjoy the variety of challenges and more control over their work / life balance. The result is that if you want the best person for the job, you may have to consider taking on a contractor.
Whether you’re a small company or large, the flexibility of contract staff is a huge benefit when needing to fill staff skill gaps for projects, wrangle new technologies, or cover unpredictable events such as a sudden increase in work load or covering absent staff. If a tentative project doesn’t fly or work dries up, the contractor is on short notice and can be released with minimal grief. Also, once in the door as a contractor, some may be willing to progress into permanent work if that suits both parties – a great alternative to the somewhat edgy 90-day trial period situation with fresh permanent employees.
If you’ve got work that needs to be done now, you needn’t wait for a permanent employee. We work regularly with a horde of tried and tested contractors, which enables fast placement of skilled professionals to cover your needs. Get in touch to discuss available contractor hourly rates.