Why Some Industries Rely So Heavily on Contract Staff

Courtney GakmanCourtney Gakman | Mon, Jul 24, 2017

In some industries, like tech or engineering, businesses rely heavily on contract staff. Contractors are brought on quickly and then let go when the business’s needs change.

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For human resource professionals, this type of hiring brings new challenges. In other industries, HR managers need to find the right employees for the job. In industries that rely on contract staff, they need to find the right employees, in the right places, at the right times. This is a much more complicated scenario.

If you’re new to an industry that relies on contractors, you may be wondering why companies don’t just hire full-time employees. Here’s why some industries have to rely so heavily on contract staff. 

To Keep up with Changing Demand

Some industries, like tech, are heavily project-based. Companies in these industries work on multiple projects and have unpredictable needs. If a project is approved, the company will need to find more workers right away. If a project isn’t approved, it won’t need to find more workers. This makes maintaining a permanent workforce very challenging. Companies that rely on permanent staffing will have too many workers at some times of the year and not enough at others times.

Hiring contract staff makes more sense for companies in project-based industries. It allows them to keep up with changing demand. When a project is approved, companies can quickly bring on contractors with the help of a staffing agency. When the project ends, the contractors can be quickly and easily let go. This labour flexibility makes it possible to compete in a project-based industry.

To Get Specialized Skills

When companies have specific projects to complete, they need workers with specialized skills. While their permanent employees may be very talented, nobody can be an expert in everything. They may not have any permanent employees with the right skill sets. Or, they may not have time to train their permanent employees before the project starts. Waiting too long to get started can jeopardize the project.

To move on with their projects, they need to hire highly skilled contractors. These contractors have the right skills to complete the projects, and complete them both on time and on budget. Once those projects are completed, the company won’t need the contractors anymore and can easily let them go.

To Complete Projects on Time

When companies land huge projects, they need to finish them on time. Finishing behind schedule can damage a company’s reputation in the industry. These companies may have trouble getting future projects. For these reasons, projects need to be finished on schedule.

Contract staff can help companies complete their projects on time. By getting contractors to help during the time crunch, the project will be completed more quickly. The extra help also takes strain off existing employees. Without help from contractors, employees may need to work excessive overtime to get everything done. Excessive overtime tires out employees and can lead to mistakes.

To Attract Talent

Shifting preferences in the workforce have made contract work more attractive. These days, many younger workers are looking for flexibility and autonomy. Performing the same job for a couple of years can get boring. One- to six-month projects, on the other hand, are more exciting. Workers get the opportunity to accomplish significant ventures, and then they can move on to their next challenges.

By offering contract positions, rather than permanent positions, companies can attract talent. They can appeal to highly qualified professionals who may not be interested in long-term employment commitments. To find these professionals at the right times, human resource managers can get help from a contract staffing agency.

Bringing Contractor Chaos into Order

Courtney Gakman

Courtney is an experienced Account Manager with Ian Martin specializing in Financial and VMS clients. She prides herself in providing each and every client with the proper time and dedication to produce the best possible results. When she is not eating, sleeping, and breathing IT staffing, she can be found at home playing with her mini Australian Shepherd, Ivy.

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