When to Hire an Information Technology Contractor

information technology ContractorInformation Technology Contractor

By Nathan Lundberg
Contract Services Manager

Whether they’re looking for interim talent to help get day-to-day IT infrastructure management tasks done or highly skilled experts to tackle more challenging projects, there are many good reasons why companies choose to hire an Information Technology contractor. But how do you separate out the “we should hire a contractor” situations from the “we need to recruit someone to join our staff” situations? You take a close look at exactly what you need, when you need it, and how long you need it for.

Consider hiring a contractor when you need to:

  • Get someone on board very quickly. An experienced contractor often needs less ramp-up time than a permanent hire. Also, when you work with an Information Technology contractor service provider like Coyote Creek, time involved with the recruiting, qualifying, screening and interview processes are greatly minimized.
  • Complete projects that require specific skills that you don’t have in-house. Unless your need for those skills will be on-going, hiring a contractor can be the most cost-effective way to get critical projects completed in a timely manner.
  • Get a fresh perspective. If your in-house team has been mulling over the same challenge for a while, it can be helpful to bring in someone from the outside that has experiences from a variety of other organizations. New talent brings new ideas.
  • Get an objective, unbiased opinion. Hiring a contractor can be ideal when you need to have an unbiased review or assessment done from a technical or process point of view. This is particularly true if there are investments required for products or services as an outcome of the assessment. Having a neutral third party opinion can save you money.
  • Use project funds versus headcount budget to get the work done. In some organizations, the budget for head count is more tightly managed than the project budget. If you have work to be done but no money for head count, you may be able to hire a contractor using your project funds. Some service providers, like Coyote Creek, provide both project based and contract services and can provide either type of engagement for clients.
  • Evaluate a potential hire before making a long-term commitment. If you want to hire a full-time staff member but are not sure that the person’s personality or skill set will be right for your team, hiring the person as a contractor gives both sides a chance to “try before you buy.”
  • Back-fill for an absent team member for a period of time. Use contractors to fill in for extended illnesses, maternity leaves, sabbaticals and vacations.
  • Back-fill for a team member who is working on a special project. Oftentimes contractors are hired to handle day-to-day maintenance tasks, freeing up your full-time staff members to complete special project work. This can also be a helpful to maintain the staff you have, giving them a break from their day-to-day tasks, keeping them motivated and happy in their operationally-focused jobs.

Once you determine which functions and skill sets you must have in house, it often makes the most sense to leverage experienced external resources such as contractors to handle the rest. Need help figuring it all out? Give us a call. Our Contract Services team can recruit, screen and manage the high-quality IT talent you need.