Reducing costs and increasing quality are critical in strategic planning and a healthy workforce is essential to achieving this. In addition to permanent employees, business owners can also benefit from hiring specialized talent to fulfil their short-term needs.
COVID-19 compelled companies around the world to explore business models that prioritized flexibility.
Statista estimates that half the U.S population will be engaged in some form of contract work by 2027. In Airswift's 2022 GETI report, multiple sectors within the energy industry also attribute a globally mobile talent pool to the rising use of contractors.
Harvard Business School researchers also found that with 90% of companies hiring both full-time and freelance employees, the shift to an on-demand workforce will only continue to accelerate.
When the scenario calls for it, there are various advantages of hiring contractors over permanent staff. Our article aims to help readers better understand the benefits of working with specialist contractors.
When to consider hiring contractors for your business?
The decision to hire a worker as an employee or contractor is done on a case-by-case basis. Here are three questions to ask yourself when considering hiring a contractor.
Can the job be completed on a short-term basis or within a defined time period?
Does the job require a specialized skill set?
Can the job be done with minimum supervision?
IIf your answer to the above points is a no, you'll probably be better suited to hiring permanent employees. (We can help you with this too)
However, if your answer is a yes to all of the above, you're likely to benefit from hiring a contractor. The section below highlights some of the major advantages of engaging with contract workers.
Businesses can save money
Cost savings are a major advantage that comes with hiring contractors. When a company hires full-time employers, a lot of its financial commitments go towards expenses such as:
Worker’s compensation insurance
Social security and Medicare
Health insurance and paid time off
Productivity tools and office equipment
With contractors, they only need to be compensated for the number of hours they put into a project, and often have their own equipment to carry out tasks. This reduces the financial strain on employers and frees up cash flow.
Increased flexibility and efficiency
As organizations adjust their processes to fit into the mould of a post-COVID business model, agility is essential. Using contractors can be advantageous in the face of fluctuating workloads, evolving organizational needs, and project uncertainties.
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 and contract their workforce as needed with a reduced long-term commitment.
Hiring a contract worker also grants businesses greater efficiency. Contractors bring specialized expertise to the job and can be productive immediately. Eliminating the time and additional costs of training new employees.
Reduce headaches when securing work visas and permits
How do you recruit the best possible candidates in locations where you have no footprint or physical entities? 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.
An alternative to this is for companies to partner with an Employer of Record (EOR). An EOR will be able to assume the role of the international employee's legal employer and shoulder all responsibilities related to HR and compliance.
For companies that opt to do this, it is essential that you take the necessary measures to avoid misclassifying your employees as the penalties can be harsh. Working with a Global Employment and Mobility (GEM) expert will be able to help you ensure that you stay compliant with the labour laws of the countries that you choose to hire in.
Opportunity to test run employees and roles
Searching for high-quality permanent candidates can take a long time and even once a hire is made, it doesn't automatically guarantee that your new hire will be a good fit.
Hiring an employee on a contract basis lets you trial run them for permanent roles and assess how they respond to the company environment as well as their responsibilities.
This lower-risk, highly flexible method of trialling employees has become an increasingly popular practice when hiring for senior positions. As these positions often come with larger compensation packages and decision-making roles, companies need to know, more than ever, that they're hiring the right person for the job.
This method allows a business to acutely observe the employee's performance before offering them permanent employment.
Brings fresh perspectives to the table
Due to their experience in working with multiple clients, contractors often have a lot more exposure to different companies and working environments. This means that they can often bring unique perspectives and insights to the projects they're involved in.
Their lack of connection to the company also gives them the advantage of being able to assess a problem from a purely objective standpoint and contribute effective solutions that go beyond the status quo.
A contractor's separation from a business also puts them in a position to facilitate decision making and implement new strategies without having to worry about any internal biases.
Hire the best talent for your business with Airswift
We are an international workforce solutions provider and strategic partner to the energy, process and infrastructure industries. Our level of experience, exposure and expertise is unparalleled and we support both contractors and permanent recruitment. Human resources is in our DNA.