In an era of shared workspaces, freelancers, consulting roles, and expats working overseas, the number of contract workers worldwide is constantly growing. In Canada, 13.6% of the workforce was comprised of contract workers in 2017. 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 having a contingent workforce.
Benefits of contract workers
Hiring becomes much more flexible when working with contract workers. You can bring on new staff quickly, and 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’s positions. By only bringing on contract workers during peak times, you maintain your employee headcount year-round. And in structuring your hiring this way, your employees can also feel more secure in their positions.
Many of the costs associated with hiring permanent staff can be reduced by engaging with contract workers. While contract workers often have higher salaries than staff, they usually don’t qualify for medical benefits, vacation time, and sick pay. Contractors – in general – also must take care of their own taxes. Additionally, when you are hiring contract workers with a specific skill set, there will be fewer costs associated with onboarding, training, and professional development.
Contract workers tend to have more years of experience than any other employee group. This is highly valued as it means that they can jump right in and get started in a role. You can specifically hire for the skills you need for the work that needs to be done, 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 hiring 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 staffing agency can be a huge bonus. As they are constantly working with you and know your business, your recruiter can find you the skills you need on much shorter notice. This will also take 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
It is important that your HR team stays up to date on the legal and compliance regulations around contract workers. Every country will have different laws and it is important 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 through 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. This protects both your company and the contractor if anything happens.
Hiring contract workers won’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.
Energy Resourcing works with exceptionally qualified contract workers. These candidates have made their career out of being the right person for a job, and have proven their value over and over again. Be it contract workers or permanent employees that you need, we are here to help you find the perfect match for your open role. Contact us today.