Having talented technical professionals on your team can help your company tackle challenging projects and achieve its goals. But your new team members don’t always have to be long-term employees. When does it make sense to hire a contractor rather than a full-time staff member?

At Emergent Staffing, we recruit top tech talent for both contract and direct hire positions (for more information on the difference, check out our staffing services page), so we know that neither option is superior — it just depends on your organization’s needs.

Based on our experience filling software development, project management, business analyst, and other technical roles, you should consider working with a contractor if…

1. Your project requires specialized skills

If you have a complex project that requires skills your team lacks, bringing in a short-term contractor may be just what you need. For example, maybe you need someone with expertise in a particular technology, but only for the duration of your current project.

 A staffing agency can help you find contractors with expertise in niche areas. These contractors can stay with your team for as long as you need their particular skillset. Since contractors can jump in right away without lengthy training or onboarding, you can instantly enhance your team’s capabilities.

2. Your workloads are variable

Contractors offer flexibility in scaling your workforce up and down based on project demands. This can be ideal if you have occasional spikes in workload (for example, due to seasonal variability) or work in a rapidly changing industry. Rather than overburdening your full-time team with short-term, high-intensity projects, you can add contractors to ease the load.

The agility of a contractor workforce is also beneficial if the skills you require change from project to project.

3. It’s more cost-effective than a full-time hire

Before you decide between a full-time employee or a contractor, evaluate the cost-effectiveness of each. In many cases, it will be less expensive to work with a contractor. For one thing, you don’t have to keep paying for contractors in times when your workload is smaller. Contractors also typically save organizations money on the cost of benefits, office space, training, and onboarding.  

For this reason, contractors are often hired in uncertain economic times when there are hiring freezes or difficulties getting headcount approved for full-time employees.

4. You have a tight deadline

Contractors can accelerate your project timeline to help you meet deadlines. They can often start work quickly, so your team gets an immediate, temporary boost as you push to finish your project.

5. You need to stay cutting edge

Contractors work on many different projects, which exposes them to a variety of environments, industries, and issues.  Consequently, they tend to stay current and cutting edge. They can bring vast insights and expertise to your project or even mentor your staff on skills they don’t have yet.

6. You’re testing the waters

In some cases, temporary contractors can join your team full-time. You can hire a contractor as a trial run to ensure that they’re a good fit for your business before you make a long-term commitment.

7. You want to mitigate risk

Contractors often come with their own liability insurance, which reduces legal and financial risks for your company. They can help manage compliance with labor laws and regulations — especially important when working across borders or with specialized tasks.

8. You’re trying to reduce the administrative burden

Your HR and finance departments are already busy and every new employee increases the load.  Contractors often handle their own taxes, paperwork, and administrative tasks, reducing the burden on your employees.

9. You’ll benefit from access to a nearshore talent pool

When you choose to work with a contractor, there are fewer limits on who you can work with. You have the opportunity to tap into a diverse talent pool of tech experts from around the world. This can bring fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to your projects. Plus, nearshore consultants often have a lower hourly rate. Just make sure you work with a staffing partner that won’t sacrifice quality for price.

(If you’d rather only work with contractors from your own region, a staffing agency can help you with that too.)

10. You need to focus on strategic goals

You and your team have a lot on your plates. You want to focus on your core work and the strategic goals of the company.  But auxiliary tasks keep popping up, and someone has to do them.

If this situation sounds familiar, working with a contractor could be the perfect solution. Bring someone on for a fixed duration to handle the extras while your team focuses on the important stuff.

Hire a top contractor

They may be temporary team members, but finding a contractor with the right skills, experience, and personality for the role is still essential. And that’s where Emergent Staffing shines. Our rigorous certification process for contractors includes personality and skills assessments, interviews, and role-based challenges.

How can we help you find the perfect contractor for your project? Get in touch and let us know.