The economy is currently pretty much broken, in more ways than one. Over 1.6 billion people in the world are at risk of losing their jobs, which is half of the world's workforce—over 14 million jobs lost since March in the United States alone. We live in a world that’s limited to social bubbles and restricted by distance, and industries need to pivot and adapt, or lose the battle.
Sure, there are plenty of plans in the works to revive the economy, but while that’s under process, how can businesses find financial stability and control and still get their work done in the “new normal?” While companies are used to having the strength and support of full-time staff, it’s not a luxury many can afford right now. Having said that, work can’t come to a standstill; projects need to resume and companies need to evolve in order to Change, Transform, and Grow.
The answer to this problem lies in flexibility. This is especially relevant to companies in manufacturing, automotive, oil and gas, aerospace, and other heavy machinery industries which require skilled technical resources.
Right now, employers really need a way to get work done, particularly those requiring technical skills, without any long-term commitments; contract workers may be the solution we’re all looking for during these troubled times. With many businesses not being able to hire full-time employees, independent contract workers fill a much-needed gap in the job market. There are plenty of highly skilled talent in the pool right now, and hiring technical resources on contract may be the new way forward for all companies, in terms of recruitment, post-COVID-19.
For instance, hiring a contract worker means there’s reduced long-term labour cost as they don’t require health benefits, 401k and long-term fixed income. It also involves a quick hiring process and you get highly skilled candidates with specialized experience to work on your projects—you can skip the long recruitment process as they’re ready to hit the ground running and deliver a successful project. These flexi-jobs give companies a way to hire on a project-basis, as needed, rather than commit to a resource long-term when there may not be a necessity or the financial viability. But, how can you tell if you’re hiring the best contract worker for your project? Here are some of the top things to look for when hiring a technical resource on contract:
Ensure they're highly experienced in their respective fields. The most important benefit of hiring technical resources on contract is that they’re highly experienced. Having worked on diverse projects with different deadlines, for different employers, their experience makes them flexible and easily adaptable. The more experienced they are working as a contracter, the better suited they would be for the role you’re looking to fill.
Do they have previous experience working on contract? Contract workers are different from full-time employees on your payroll—they maintain a level of independence. An independent contract worker is expected to know what they are doing, with minimal training or orientation. The only way you can ascertain this is if they have worked as contractors in the past, which means they would know what is required from the job and they’re ready to swing into action.
Do they understand the project landscape? When you explain the requirements of the role, it’s important to have the contract worker on the same page as you. Be clear about the deliverables: what you need, expected outcome, timeline, quality of work, communication etc right at the get-go, so they know and understand what’s expected of them.
Is their previous experience directly relevant to the project? With an independent contract worker, you get a highly specialized, self-driven worker who will get the job done just the way you want it, but the only way you can be sure of that is to look for a contract worker who has worked for large corporations or on projects directly relevant to the work that they will do at your company. Having similar previous experience will set them up for success in the current project, making everything go through smoothly.
Are they charging you industry-standard rates? It’s not completely wrong that price determines quality. Look for a contract worker who’s not too pricey but isn’t selling themselves short either. If they charge a higher rate, there’s probably a reason—they offer exceptional services. Look into the current industry standard rates and hire a contractor who charges in that ballpark. This is where a mediator like Evolve Business Advisory can help you by removing the hassle of contract negotiation, provide benefits and any additional assistance to meet the contractor’s demand, taking the weight off your shoulders so you can focus on your core business.
While hiring contract workers has its benefits in general, it’s more important to consider this as an option for your business now, during COVID-19. With the way things are moving, more regular jobs are likely to turn into smaller projects—this gives you the option to evaluate if the project requires a full-time, long-term employee in the first place. Regular operations, as we knew it, have changed, and teams are now split on a project-basis. Flexi-jobs with contract workers may be the way the world works moving forward.
Evolve Business Advisory works with companies and contract workers around the world. We’re the preferred providers of engineering support services for manufacturers across North America – everything from automotive to aerospace, oil & gas to heavy machinery. Evolve matches highly skilled contract workers with organizations that need them for a specific project. Our charges include everything: we take care of all the back-end operations, from recruitment, screening, payments, benefits and other administrative and HR details. All you have to do is focus on your project and the budget—we’ll handle the rest.
If you’re a company looking to hire technical contract workers or a highly specialized engineer looking for a contract position, reach out to Evolve. For more information, visit our website.