Short Term / Contractors - Too Expensive? Too much Risk?

Expensive, Risk of loss of IP, Demoralising existing perm staff, low skilled engineers / Charlatans? ….. All reasons we hear for not taking on short term resource. However let’s just stop and examine the validity of these arguments;


Of course you are going to be paying more for a contractor than a permanent employee – but not THAT much more. Consider the unseen costs of a permanent employee – National Insurance (12%), Benefits (Pension, Health, Phone, PC, Expenses ++), Sick Pay, Maternity / Paternity, Overtime and often much more. Thus, when comparing the cost of a permanent staff member with a contractor it is normally reasonable to add 20-30% on top of the salary cost. You should also compute in there the lack of flexibility of permanent staff members – don’t forget a contractor is a switch on / switch off resource. 



Loss of IP?

Contractors all are bound by tight confidentiality clauses and professional contractors are very serious about this. There is therefore potentially less chance of IP leakage from a contractor than from a permanent member of staff. As to the IP walking out to the door when the contractor leaves you. This is not something that has to happen! Good use of contractors will ensure that the individual (Who typically will be an expert in their field) is not just used to “plug a gap”, but is used to increase the DNA of the existing team – ie up skilling those around them. The result of a contractor’s presence in a team can therefore leave an employer with a team that possesses skills above their respective pay grade (thus creating pay back from the cost of hiring a contractor in the first instance!).

Demoralising existing team?

If the contractor is the right individual then they will typically up-skill the existing team as they will have abilities that they do not currently possess. Also remember, a contractor does not have the same benefits and opportunities that a permanent member of staff does – such as opportunity for training, learning and development and career progression. You will therefore often find that your perception of a contractor demoralising the existing troops is far from the truth!

Low Skilled / Charlatan?

Granted, they are out there. However if your selection process is robust, you are naturally defended against them. Vertex are more than happy to consult with you to ensure your selection process is fit for purpose. If you would like to discuss these points further, I am very happy to take your call. Further, if you would like to discuss either a need for individual or teams of contract resource (on or offsite) please don’t hesitate to get in touch. (Mark Beard, m.beard@vertex-solutions.co.uk)

Vertex Solutions are specialists high technology IT recruiters with an enviable list of clients across Europe and a global candidate reach. Have you used IT contractors before, or any type of contractor for that matter? Please share your experiences I’d love to hear them – good or bad!