Happy New Year!  Hopefully Santa delivered on the wishes in my last blog and granted you more time and budget for 2018. If he wasn’t so kind, then what can you do to overcome the challenge of adequately resourcing new projects you are planning for the coming year?

Contractors are a great solution for situations like these.  For a start, there’s no headcount issue when using contractors. What’s more HR, L&D and OD contractors are the ideal way of getting short-term things done to a high standard – helping you manage your finances and your internal commitments.

Why use contractors?

Contractors add value. As well as their experience, they’re adept at fitting into new environments, meaning they can get up to speed more quickly than a new hire. This is particularly true for L&D, OD and HR contractors, whose technical expertise is usually top notch.

Contractors also tend to be problem solvers. Their experience of working in different environments means they often bring solutions your team wouldn’t have thought of. They’ll be able to identify the problem areas and harness their experience of similar projects to find the answer, freeing up your time and leaving you to focus on other things.

Although contractors can be more costly upfront, this is offset by their ability to get things done quickly and to a high standard.  That’s something well worth paying for!

How to decide between contractors and permanent hires

Your first step is to work out what you want to achieve. What’s your delivery goal and when is it needed?

Then think about what skills and other attributes the person in the role will need in order to deliver the outcome you want.

Contractors are ideal if you want someone who has experience.  Likewise, if you want a speedy outcome or need some fresh thinking.

If, however, you need resource for a long-term project and/or need in-house expertise, you may be better looking at creating a new in-house role.

Remember that a mix of the two can also work. For example, you could kick-start a project with a contractor, who can set up templates and processes based on their previous experience, and then hand it over to in-house L&D, OD or HR people, who have the right networks in your organisation.

How to get the most from your contractors

As is the case when hiring a permanent employee, you will get the best value from your contractor when there is a clear scope for their work.  Be sure to develop job descriptions and KPIs for contractors, just as you would for employees.  

Contractors also need to be appropriately empowered to deliver what is expected of them.  Some organisations place restrictions on contractors’ access to certain people, systems and information so take this into account when considering what their role is to entail.

Other considerations

There are some important legal obligations and implications to consider when you use a contractor, mainly relating to tax. The good news is that experienced contractors will have their own payment systems set up. We can advise you on your other obligations so contact us for guidance.

Where to find great HR, L&D and OD contractors

Did you know that we have a huge network of contractors with a wide range of skills, from learning and development, and organisational development, to human resource management. We also source trainers and facilitators, eLearning developers, IT trainers, technical writers, project managers…and more.

Importantly, we do right by our contractors, paying them a greater share of our fee than they tend to get elsewhere, so we have some of the best in the business.

Take a look at L&D Sourcing and Recruitment to find out more about our contracting and recruitment services.  Our quarterly newsletter also includes a list of everyone who is currently on our books so, if you haven’t done so already, signing up to our mailing list is an easy way of keeping up-to-date.