Contract work – also known as the gig economy – has been steadily rising in recent years, fuelled further by COVID-19 and the shift to flexible and remote work. According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were over a million contractors in Australia only three years ago – with this figure predicted to continue growing on a national and global level.

For professionals, contract jobs provide a degree of flexibility and variety that often isn’t attainable in a traditional permanent role. But the advantages of contracting extend to employers as well.

Importantly, hiring contractors provides companies the opportunity to scale the workforce up and down as needed – offering a level of agility that’s essential to success in a fast-moving market.

Considering hiring contractors? These are some of the key benefits they could bring to your business.

Specialised skills

Contractors are typically skilled in a particular area with experience across multiple projects. This makes them especially valuable for tapping into niche knowledge and filling skills gaps amongst your permanent team.

Notably, when contractors are hired to work on a client-facing project, they have the capability to step up to the task quickly and demonstrate specialist expertise – leaving a positive, lasting impression on clients.

RELATED: 8 reasons why contract employment is popular

Reduced staffing costs

Although they can be significantly more expensive per-hour than permanent employees, hiring contractors often ends up being more cost-effective in the long run. They’re only employed as needed throughout the year or for special projects, meaning you get maximum output for the cost.

Additionally, if a person is hired as an independent contractor (as opposed to a permanent employee), in many cases they’re not entitled to performance rewards, bonuses, leave benefits, staff programs, and sometimes superannuation. This can further help maximise cost efficiency when it matters most.

Greater adaptability

Having the flexibility to shift headcount and skills sets rapidly is critical to maintaining an edge in a competitive business landscape. This is especially pertinent during and post-COVID-19, where many businesses are pivoting and reshaping their business models at unprecedented speeds.

To that end, contractors provide the flexibility needed to meet changing business needs – whether that be in terms of scale, focus, geographic location, or other factors. This not only supports an agile business strategy but also helps reduce cost wastage that can hinder an organisation’s ability to adapt quickly.

The ability to test the waters

Whether the goal is to trial the role itself or the individual, hiring someone on a contract basis offers the opportunity to assess if a work arrangement will be beneficial over the long term.

In situations where it becomes clear the role or individual will be crucial to the business moving forward, the hiring manager and contractor can look at transitioning the temp role to a permanent employment arrangement. Conversely, if the role becomes redundant or the person isn’t the right fit for the job, the contract will simply expire as agreed. There’s no hard feelings, particularly from the contractor, as this is the nature of their work and they often have another gig lined up.

RELATED: 5 common hiring pain points every hiring manager in Australia can relate to

Should you hire contractors?

Consider the following questions to help determine if contracting is right for your business:

  • Do you have a conservative staffing budget?

  • Are you looking to hire someone for a short-term role?

  • Do you have a skills gap that needs to be filled temporarily?

  • Do you need to urgently scale up or adjust your workforce?

  • Do you need someone with specialised skills for a time-sensitive project?

If you’re considering hiring contractors, it’s a good idea to speak with an established agency with specialist expertise in your industry. Page Personnel has pre-qualified contractors ready to step in immediately. Contact us today to discuss your contracting needs.

Join over 60,000 readers!
Get a free weekly update via email here and help kick start your career.