Permanent employees – not always the answer? – By Chris Rooum

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Permanent employees – not always the answer? – By Chris Rooum

Why on some occasions a contractor should be considered

By 2020 half of the workforce in the UK will be made up of contractors (Freelance Union) – proving that contracting is becoming increasingly popular among candidates. Contractors can add value and address business challenges whether it be dealing with transition periods in a business, supporting rapid growth, a changing agenda, covering a key position or a digital transformation. At RE Resource group we have found that clients are turning towards contractors as a solution to the interim problem caused by the uncertainty of Brexit.

The following sections outline the key benefits of hiring contract, interim or temporary workers.


The primary reason to use a contractor rather than employ a full-time member of staff is the flexibility it gives you. Contractors can be hired on a short-term basis, meaning that if a project is completed early or a budget is suddenly cut, then the contractor can quickly move into another role.

This flexibility can also be useful if you have peaks and troughs in workload through the year or a fluctuating order book. This can work significantly better than hiring a permanent member of staff, because if there is a drop-in workload, then there will be no need to make redundancies.

For projects where numbers are needed at short notice, and you suddenly need a large influx of staff, contractors can fill this need. Contractors can be brought on to support a time sensitive project or build a team quickly to support rapid growth. Additionally, when a key staff member leaves, contractors can help support an overloaded department while you search for the right permanent candidate to fill the role.

Engaging a contractor can also be a way to see a candidate in action before engaging them for a longer contract or perhaps even offering them a full-time position.

Specialised skill sets

When you need a specific skill set for a short period of time, for an identified transition project, or because you require a quick turnaround and do not have enough staff in-house, contractors can be the answer.

Many contractors have years of experience in a niche area, meaning you would not need to train them, and they can offer value from the outset.

Engaging a contractor also means that your full- time employees can continue to focus on the core function of the business, while contractors can add the value with their specialised skill sets.

Contractors can also act in a consultancy capacity, giving a fresh set of eyes to company processes and providing suggested improvements that may not have been considered previously. Often contractors have worked in a diverse range companies and industries, giving them a diverse perspective from working in a variety of arenas. This can give contractors a fresh or unique viewpoint and can allow them to evaluate your business and processes from an outside perspective.

Cutting Costs

Although they can cost significantly more per-hour than permanent employees, contractors are a way to save money. Full-time employees may have benefits such as health insurance and retirement contribution costs which can quickly add up in terms of true cost to employ. Recruiting fulltime employees can be a resource-heavy process, especially if you’re determined to find the right permanent candidate for the job. These are not costs associated with contractors, meaning that while their salaries may be higher per hour, they may be cost efficient for the business overall.

Training new staff has a significant resource and time cost to an organisation. Contractors eliminate this cost; if you pick the right contractor, they will have all the skills you need for the role from day one.

Summary of reasons you may use a contractor:

·        Need someone for a short-term role.

·        A skills gap a contractor could fill.

·        Want to utilise a service you don’t need regularly.

·        Under-resourced but don’t have enough work for a full-time role.

·        Small budget but need big results.

·        Need results quickly for a time-sensitive project.

·        Have a project that requires specialist knowledge.

Contractors are not right for every situation, but if you have a specific skill gap to fill, are a rapidly growing organisation, or you think you’ll only need a service for a short-term contract, then a contractor could be a better option to meet your hiring needs.

Contract legislation is changing with amendments to IR35 being introduced in April 2020; RE Resource Group in partnership with Brooksons Legal and BPE Solicitors are presenting seminars on how to approach the changes and ensure compliance; if you would like further details on this please contact


Published by Chris Rooum – Head of Professional Services at RE Resource Group and Ambrose Recruitment