A solid team of permanent employees is one of a company's greatest competitive advantages. But, are you also using independent contractors to supplement that team? If not, do you know why? Many companies have thoroughly reviewed the idea of using contractors and it simply doesn't fit into their business model. However, we occasionally speak with companies who could absolutely benefit by using independent contractors, but avoid it because they've bought into a few myths.
These are a few of the more common ones:
Contractors are expensive!
A contractor's hourly rate is almost definitely higher than that of your employee and if you look at that number alone, then you're right. However, the contractor is only hired when needed, and you only pay for time on the job. That means you're not paying for a long hiring process, as well as other employment costs like training, time off, and benefits. Another cost rarely factored into the equation is management time. There are really no significant management issues with contractors because if there is a problem they are gone. No mess, no fuss, no severance!
My team will figure out how to do it.
Of course they will. But how long will it take and how many mistakes will there be along the way? One of the biggest benefits of using a contractor is that you have the pick of the market to ensure the person coming in has relevant skills to perfectly match a project. We sometimes see a company force-fit its employees to complete a project because the employee is available. Not only does this take the employee off of their regular tasks, the project isn't always done as well as it could be. Contractors are experts in their field so they hit the ground running, use best practices and get the job done quickly.
We want to maintain our corporate culture.
A loyal team and strong culture is crucial for any organization, but don't let that discourage you from hiring a contractor. Hiring contractors allow companies to invest in a smaller, core group of employees that will, in turn, improve employee retention. They will often lead your employees and pass on knowledge that will make your team even stronger. Plus, when your employees know a team member is only temporary, they'll be less likely to feel threatened which will reduce the competition and politicking that is often hurtful to a culture. If you need a job done and are weighing up hiring or bringing in contract help, make sure you consider all of the facts. It's a big corporate cost and commitment to hire people, and while contractors are not always the right answer, neither are employees!