Happy New Year! As you get back to work, hopefully refreshed from a little holiday time off, you may be ramping up for a new project, considering fresh new ways to work, or simply re-examining your current situation. And if you’re doing any of these things, you may be searching for new career or hiring opportunities. Whatever your industry, it could benefit you to consider contracting…or hiring contractors. Especially if your field is in information technology, engineering, finance, or accounting. Project-based work in these, and other industries, is becoming increasingly popular for workers and companies alike. Here’s why.
The Contractor Today
Let’s take a look at the technical – aka, engineering, finance, accounting, or information technology – contractor. This highly trained professional isn’t looking for a full-time job, let alone something to last for 20 to 30 years. Instead, she’s looking to jump in on a challenging project and put her highly specialized expertise to work solving problems others thought unsolvable – all while picking up new skills that help her stay cutting edge in the fast-moving tech world. Oh – and she expects to be paid well for it, too. Ten to fifteen percent more than a permanent employee, in fact.
Higher pay is only fair, considering many contractors have years, even decades, of highly valuable experience due to their breadth of projects and work environments. To contractors, such diversity of projects helps them build upon their skill set and hone their craft in a condensed timeframe, along with just keeping things interesting. Yet one more perk engineering, finance, accounting, and IT contractors enjoy? Both their skills and their way of working are in demand, which makes them all the more marketable – and allow you to raise rates even further.
Why companies want contractors
Naturally, it’s much easier to manage your finances and adjust your workforce, come boom or bust, when you include contractors in your workforce. In fact, as rapidly as technology is developing, and as globalized as our economy has become – it’s pretty much essential to hire a mix of permanent employees and highly skilled contractors. Another benefit of contractors is that they can come in, go straight to work without much training, be utilized 100% while on the project (in other words, they’re only paid for the work they do), then when the project is finished move on to the next exciting challenge. This working relationship is a win-win.
How to hire the best
In technical fields, even companies with robust HR departments choose to outsource the work of posting jobs, screening candidates, and performing background checks to find just the right contractor, with highly specialized skills, to a staffing firm that’s an expert in the field. As a staffing firm with years of experience matching IT, engineering, accounting, and finance professionals with companies and technical projects, we can provide a few tips.
1. Look past paper. What’s on a resume won’t tell you everything that meeting a candidate, diving deep into his employment history, education, training, and certifications will – especially for highly skilled technical roles. A recruiting company can help you with this process.
2. Pay well. The perfect candidate isn’t cheap. In fact, neither is the almost perfect one. But the wrong candidate, even with a lower rate, will end up being much more costly.
3. Act fast. Candidates in technical fields are in high demand. So know what you’re looking for, then jump at the chance when you find it.