The Power of Flexibility: How Contractors and Freelancers Drive Business Success

5 Minutes

Over the past decade, I have recruited contractors and freelancers, and the idea of transiti...

By Bex Hudson-Dowdeswell

Senior Business Manager

Over the past decade, I have recruited contractors and freelancers, and the idea of transitioning to recruiting for the permanent side has never appealed to me. Engaging with highly skilled individuals in a dynamic environment and meeting demanding project deadlines is what fuels my passion and keeps me engaged.

Contractors and the contract market are sometimes seen as the "poor relation" or the "expensive non-necessity." However, I consistently strive to challenge this perception. Contractors bring immense value to businesses, and their importance continues to grow in today's rapidly evolving digital landscape.

So, what value can a contractor or freelancer bring to your business?

  1. Additional expertise
    We often find contractors for clients who need a specific skill set not currently available in-house or required for a one-off project where a permanent hire is not suitable. The ability to scale up flexibly and add extra skills and knowledge to a team on a case-by-case basis is invaluable for delivering projects efficiently and on time.
  2. Flexibility
    Our contractors work on contracts ranging from 1 day to 12 months or more, depending on the client's needs. All contracts include notice periods, providing ultimate flexibility for contract hires. Contractors are accustomed to being flexible and accommodating.
  3. Retention of permanent staff
    A new permanent employee joining a company with a large backlog of work can be disheartening. If you find the perfect permanent employee on a 3-month notice period, who will handle the workload before they start? Contract hires are an excellent way to ensure your new permanent hire doesn't begin with a mountain of work, leading to a smooth onboarding process and long-term retention.
  4. Contractors don't impact permanent headcount
    We often have clients come to us needing someone ASAP, but they don't have approval for a permanent hire. In this situation, hiring a temporary or contract worker is ideal. At Sphere, we work within a client's budget, so if your permanent hire is £40k, we can calculate a pro-rata rate to fill the gap while you wait for permanent sign-off.
  5. An opportunity to "test drive" a candidate
    As clichéd as it sounds, you wouldn't buy a car without test-driving it! Candidates are skilled at interviewing, but clients often only get a real representation of a candidate's abilities once they're in the role. A popular option for our clients is hiring a candidate on a temp-to-perm basis. This arrangement benefits both parties, allowing them to experience each other's working styles and company culture before making a long-term commitment. Here are some additional benefits of the temp-to-perm approach:

    Reduced risk: Hiring a candidate on a temp-to-perm basis minimizes the risk of making a poor hiring decision. If the candidate doesn't meet expectations or isn't a good cultural fit, the company can choose not to transition them into a permanent role without the complications of a traditional dismissal.
  6. Embracing the Growing Gig Economy
    The gig economy has experienced significant growth in recent years, with more professionals choosing freelance and contract work over traditional permanent roles. This shift in the workforce landscape has been driven by factors such as the desire for more flexible work arrangements, advances in technology, and the rise of remote work. Businesses need to adapt to this changing environment to stay competitive and attract top talent.

Contractors and freelancers are integral to the gig economy. They provide businesses with the flexibility to scale up or down as needed, access specialized skills on-demand, and adapt to market changes. Embracing the gig economy can benefit companies in various ways:

    • Cost savings: Hiring contractors and freelancers can help businesses reduce overhead costs associated with permanent employees, such as office space, benefits, and long-term commitments. This can result in more efficient resource allocation and better financial performance.
    • Agility: With the ability to hire skilled professionals on a project-by-project basis, companies can become more agile and responsive to market demands. This enables them to seize new opportunities and stay ahead of competitors.
    • Access to a diverse talent pool: The gig economy allows businesses to tap into a vast pool of skilled professionals with diverse backgrounds and experiences. This can lead to fresh perspectives, innovative solutions, and ultimately, better results.

    Contractors and freelancers are an essential part of the modern workforce. They offer businesses flexibility, access to specialized skills, and the ability to adapt quickly to changing market conditions. By understanding and leveraging the benefits of the gig economy, companies can stay competitive, attract top talent, and achieve long-term success.

    As a recruiter specializing in the contract and freelance market, I'm excited to continue connecting exceptional talent with businesses in need. If you're considering hiring a contractor or freelancer for your next project, don't hesitate to reach out for expert advice and support. Embrace the gig economy, and experience the advantages it can bring to your organization.

    Sphere Digital Recruitment 2022
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