Why it makes sense to hire staff on contract
Many opinions on the issue of contract labour have been expressed in the national media over the last few months, particularly as it relates to Trinidad and Tobago’s public sector.
However, according to a study by the Freelance Union, by 2020 half of the workforce will be made up of contractors. This trend demonstrates that not only is contract employment becoming increasingly popular among job seekers, it also serves very specific organisational and economic purposes.
In this article, we will share some insights into the value of hiring staff on contract, and of course, how recruitment agencies like Regency Recruitment and Resources can be your best partner in this type of working arrangement.
One of the most common reasons companies hire staff on contract is to meet tight deadlines or meet fluctuating demand. If you work in a sector that experiences seasonal peaks, like retail or hospitality, hiring temporary and contract workers is the ideal way to ensure service delivery levels are maintained. You can ensure that you have the right number of staff you need to meet increased demand, but just for that season. Like-wise, when companies have time-sensitive projects to complete, hiring contract staff makes sense because the hiring process is much faster than sourcing permanent staff and the hiring of contract staff allows a firm to quickly expand their workforce without having to retain excess staff once the project is completed or season is over.
If you can forecast the staff you will hire for a specific project period or season, you can control project costs while meeting organisational goals. During tough economic times, many firms implement hiring freezes, so bringing in contract labour can be a great way for HR managers to effectively navigate a freeze on full-time staff while ensuring project goals and deadlines are met. And usually there are minimal add on costs above base salary (no benefits) so this also helps keep staff costs down.
Your staffing firm partner will have a large database of available and pre-screened personnel ready to work, with the specific skills and technical capabilities you need to get the job done.
Hiring contract staff gives companies a way to hedge against employee burnout. The contract employees enable organisations to hire the talent they need while spreading the additional work amongst a greater number of employees. This can give permanent employees a more equitable workload while reducing stress and improving work-life balance at the same time.
Even with very well prepared HR teams, it is hard for companies to prepare for unforeseen leaves of absence or unexpected illnesses. These vacancies, if left unfilled, can affect project deadlines, employee morale, and overall business success. Projects can even grind to a halt if the person taking leave has an especially unique skill set or knowledge that other team members lack. Working with a staffing firm to source contract personnel gives companies a way to quickly react to unforeseen events, minimise downtime and keep integral projects on track.
Contract personnel can bring fresh insight and ideas to your team - the more contract people you hire, the more unique perspectives you’re going to get. They may also have worked in other firms in your industry, so can share a broader perspective into sector trends and opportunities.
In a volatile economy, short-term contractors provide an ideal mechanism for your firm to assess and hire in line with market shifts and organisational needs on an ongoing basis, rather than committing to long term permanent new employees. Contract staff can also be ‘guinea pigs’ for company staffing needs – giving management an insight into which roles may be crucial as the business moves forward, and which will become redundant.
Author of this article, Lara Quentrall-Thomas, is the Chairman of Regency Recruitment and Resources Ltd.