In an era of shared workspaces, freelancers, consulting roles, working from home, and international employees, the number of contract workers worldwide is constantly growing.
In Canada, 13.3% of the workforce was comprised of contract workers in 2018. While in Australia, their contract workforce was 19% in 2021 after previously being 16.32 % in 2020. This international trend shows no sign of slowing down, and for that reason, many people are opting for contract work over permanent positions.
Though there might have been a stigma attached to contract workers once upon a time, the last decade has shown that companies now find great value in a contingent workforce.
Benefits of contract workers
Hiring becomes much more flexible when working with contract workers. You can bring on new staff quickly, often with less red tape than if you were hiring a permanent employee.
At the same time, this flexibility in hiring also protects your core staff. By only bringing on contract workers during peak times, you maintain your employee headcount year-round. And in structuring your hiring this way, your contract employees can also feel more secure in their positions.
You can reduce many of the costs associated with hiring permanent staff by engaging contract workers.
While contract workers often have higher salaries than staff, they usually don’t qualify for employee benefits, including medical benefits, vacation time, pension contributions, and sick pay. Contractors – in general – also must take care of their tax and national insurance.
Additionally, when you are hiring contract workers with a specific skill set, there will be fewer costs associated with onboarding, training, and professional development.
The average contract worker tends to have more years of experience than those in permanent employment. This is highly valued as it means that they can jump right into a role and get started.
You can specifically hire for the skills you need, without the risk of hiring a permanent employee who doesn’t have the full range of experience necessary for a role. This is particularly beneficial if you are recruiting for a short-term position where the company has no current staff with those skills.
Important factors to remember
Lack of talent when you need it
If you are not able to proactively hire for peak periods, it can be much harder to find the candidates you need, when you need them. This is where working with a recruitment agency can be a huge bonus.
As they are continually working with you and know your business, your recruiter can find you the skills you need on much shorter notice.
Working with a recruitment agency takes some of the hiring process pressure off your HR team, letting them focus on finding the perfect people for full-time positions.
Working status of contract workers
Your HR team must stay up to date on the legal and compliance regulations around contract workers. Every country will have different laws, and it is crucial to make sure you are adhering to these.
There is a fine line between the classification of contract workers and full-time employees. You will want to make sure you know the difference to avoid any legal issues down the line.
Even though contact workers will only be working with your company for a specific period of time, they are not exempt from signing your corporate policies and any other relevant legal documents. This includes things like confidentiality agreements, codes of conduct, and contracts.
Make sure everything is signed off correctly before any contract worker starts in a role. Doing so protects both your company and the contractor if anything happens.
Hiring a contract worker isn’t always the best option. There will be times when hiring a permanent employee is strategically better. But in the right situation, contract workers will be the best dynamic, flexible, and cost-effective option for your company.
Looking to partner with a recruitment agency?
Energy Resourcing works with exceptionally qualified contract workers that would be a great fit for your open technical roles.
Our candidates have made their careers out of being the right person for a job. They have proven their value over and over again. Be it, contract workers or permanent employees, we are here to help you find the perfect match for your open role. Contact us today.