By David Bennett
The procurement contracting market is currently in one of its healthiest states in terms of quality and quantity.
A major source of new contracting talent has come from a number of large corporates downsizing their group procurement functions, releasing highly capable sourcing managers into the job market. Secondly, there has been a realisation that contract roles can offer a stimulating project environment for freelancers. This feeling has been reciprocated by our clients who are also realising the benefits of employing a specialist on an interim basis.
Previously there’s been a stigma attached to contractors: “why can’t they find permanent work?” But The Source has witnessed a clear shift in temporary candidates on the market. A younger demographic are now considering contracting roles with the same appetite that they assess permanent positions. They’re hungry for exciting project work and looking to challenge themselves while gaining valuable experience. They’re also willing to travel for the right role and often possess specialist skill sets which are in high demand.
More importantly for businesses, a talented contractor is smart enough to know that if they perform well and deliver on a program of work, they can enhance their reputation, grow their professional network and earn future job recommendations.
So if your company is new to contracting, here’s a practical guide to answer some of the most common questions around hiring a contractor:
Once clear advantage of temporary roles is cost-effectiveness and flexibility. Retained on an hourly/daily rate and avoiding additional payroll/ full time employee costs, procurement contractors can help companies manage peaks and troughs more efficiently, especially during major projects when extra hands are needed.
Organisations can find contractors to fit any budget or contract length and if the project finishes early you can release the contract to spare the company further expenses.
In terms of real value however, hiring a contractor can allow you to source a specialist for niche roles and help filter those skills throughout your existing team. For instance, if there’s a new procurement initiative being rolled out, you could hire a project manager to ensure there’s specialist expertise on site.
Some of our clients like to “try before they buy” and hire contractors to double check they’re the right fit before offering a permanent position. Three months is a good time frame to determine if that person is a good cultural fit and also firm up what the business requires.
Businesses need to establish what they need before hiring a temporary employee. The Source ensure we have a detailed position brief and make sure we understand the team culture, deliverables, potential roadblocks, project outline and business objectives before commencing our search.
Using a specialist recruitment agency such as The Source can also increase the candidate pool, simply because we use a multi-sourcing strategy to uncover talent, drawing from our knowledge of the market and client and contacts database.
More importantly, The Source take the exact same approach in terms of process and assessment when finding contractors as we do with permanent positions. This means we use the same behavioural and competency assessments and align these to the role requirements. This is a crucial step and even more pertinent for temporary roles, especially those which require a niche skill set.
The biggest mistake I see when hiring contractors make, is not selling the position to the contracting candidate. Experienced contractors are hot in demand at the moment. They may be interviewing for two or three roles simultaneously, so if you don’t promote the position as challenging and fulfilling, they’ll preference other opportunities.
It’s also important to welcome them to the company as you would a permenant employee. Introduce them to the team and business processes, make sure they have a desk and a computer and don’t treat them like a poor relation. Do right by them and rest assured, your project will reap the rewards.
To find out more about contracting, please contact David Bennett on 03 9650 6665 or at firstname.lastname@example.org