Contract work for engineering and health and safety professionals has increased over the last number of years as employers look for flexible solutions for their business needs. More and more businesses and organisations are embracing the benefits and opportunities that hiring contractors can offer.
Here’s why we at ASM Group believe that contracting is of benefit to both employers and employees.
The Benefits Of Hiring Contractors
For our clients, the number one attraction of hiring a contractor is the flexibility that it affords. When projects arise that require a certain skill set or budget requirements, a contractor can be the ideal solution. Contractors are quick to hire, preventing unnecessary delays and costs. They bring what you need, when you need it and then move on to their next contract job.
In all senses of employment, hiring a contractor gives you room to manoeuvre around budgets, the skills needed, the hiring processes, and salary banding.
- Niche skills
Upskilling your permanent workforce for a particular project, especially short-term projects, isn’t always the most economical choice. A contractor can provide niche skills for as long as is needed. Contractors in Ireland have an impressive range of skill sets which allows you to find the exact match for your business needs.
With a contractor, although their daily rate will likely be higher than a salaried employee, a company will bypass the costs of the hiring process, training and benefits associated with a permanent employee.
As the contractor is not a PAYE employee, they are not eligible to receive any sick pay, holiday pay, pension benefits or health insurance. As self-employed contractors, these matters are managed by the contractor themselves with no additional cost to you.
- Better Project Planning
By hiring contractors to assist with your business projects, planning becomes more streamlined. Knowing that a certain requirement needs to be fulfilled by a contractor in a set timeframe allows you to budget and plan accordingly.
- Increased Productivity
Contractors rely on their reputation for winning jobs. Word of mouth from one employer to another is a strong incentive for them to knuckle down and focus on the job in hand. As they tend to be experts in their field, they will be in demand and it is in their interests to be more productive than permanent employees so they can gain as many contracts as possible.
Contractors are valued for their ability to work autonomously. Avoiding the need for you to supervise their work. The best contractors will check in regularly with updates to let you know that the work is proceeding as planned. Likewise, if there is a problem with the project, the contractor will alert you and have the knowledge and the tools to correct it.
Having a contractor working with your business means avoiding the need for hands-on management and frees up resources to focus on the core activities and day-to-day running of the business.
- Talent Spotting
Working with contractors gives you an opportunity to assess them and their skills and consider them for upcoming permanent and contract roles. When working with contractors, you can properly assess their fit to your work culture. Helping you make an informed decision when hiring.
The Benefits Of Contracting
- Flexibility and Independence
Contract work can provide greater independence and flexibility for workers. Once a contractor becomes established in their chosen field, it can, for many people, offer a greater level of job security. Many contractors thrive on the motivation they gain from relying on only themselves to win and complete contract work.
Having more control over when and where you work also benefits work-life balance. Contracting offers the flexibility to work around your other responsibilities, lessen the commute, and allocate time to yourself for improved health and stress management.
- Higher Pay
As an expert in your field, you will generally find that the companies hiring you for a contracting role will pay you a higher rate than a permanent role. The short-term nature of contract work can mean that employers have more flexible budgets. Especially when your area of expertise is in demand.
If you are considering leaving a permanent job to become a contractor there are some factors to consider first. It is important that you are aware that you won’t be eligible for sick days or holidays. Nor will you be eligible for company pensions or perks. Before committing yourself completely to becoming a contractor, we recommend that you research the opportunities for contractors with your skills and speak to someone, such as ASM Group, who knows what the market looks like and what rate of pay you could feasibly achieve.
- Develop and Test New Skills
Not sure if there’s a market for your skills? You can dip a toe into a new industry without committing yourself to a full-time job. Given the flexibility and variety of contract work available, it is possible to test the waters by working around your day job. Trial runs like this mean that you will have a realistic grasp on the reality of contracting. Then, if you decide it is not for you, you can cut your losses quickly and easily and with no harm to the role you have.
The variety of work that comes with being a contract worker can also increase your skill base, industry knowledge, experience and exposure to dynamic environments, thus increasing your chance of securing future work. One of the beauties of being a contractor is that the more contracts you complete, the more you have to offer employers and the more contracts you will attract.
- Developing Networks
When you become a contractor, it pays to work on your networking skills. Depending on what your plan is for your career as a contractor, having a strong and relevant network can help you succeed. The nature of contracting and moving from one organisation’s project to the next is that it can be a great way to quickly build a strong network in a variety of companies. The bigger and more relevant that your network becomes, the more work you can attract.
- Opening Up Opportunities
Contracting is a great way to get your ‘foot in the door’ of companies you would like to get to know or work for. Working on a short term project, allows you to prove your worth and show them how well you fit into their corporate culture. It also allows you to experience the company from the inside and the position before you commit to permanent employment.