Every business relies on the right mix of in-house talent to succeed in today’s fast-paced world. But challenging economic factors, evolving business needs and budgetary constraints sometimes means solely hiring permanent staff isn’t feasible.

Contractors or temporary workers can provide an interim solution, bringing specialised skills to the table and can jump in at a moment’s notice to offer support on major projects. Read more about how contractors can help your business and how long it takes to complete a temporary contractor search.

So, should you hire contract employees? Here are six crucial questions for employers to ask themselves when considering contract and temporary workers, and make sure they're the right option for your team.

1. What needs would a contractor fill?

Make sure you have a clear idea of what role a contractor will be stepping into. Sometimes the parameters are easily defined, such as a large project that requires certain expertise you don’t have in-house. Other times, your team is just too stretched and needs extra support. In the latter case, make sure you work directly with those team members to find out how having a contractor would ease their workload, which then forms the basis for any KPIs or deliverables for the contract employee.

RELATED: Contracting FAQs for employers

2. Could we benefit from a fresh perspective?

There’s a misconception that contract workers are less skilled or that they can't find a permanent job. However, many temporary workers are highly skilled individuals who actively prefer contracting because of the variety, experiences, flexibility and higher pay rate it offers.

This means that a contractor can bring in a new outlook based on vast experience of different workplaces. If you’re in need of new ways of working, an experienced contractor could be exactly what you need.

3. Do we need a contractor or a permanent hire?

Contracting is the ideal solution for intensive projects or periods, parental leave, holiday or sick cover and that time between a staff member leaving and a new hire starting. It’s also a good way to trial a new hire to find the right fit for your team; a temporary contract allows you to test an applicant’s skill set and cultural fit in the workplace before committing.

Some contractors will be open to moving from a contract role into a permanent position, which may make them more motivated to perform and prove their value. Be sure to ask this question when interviewing contract candidates.

4. What can we offer contract employees?

Top contractors in the market have many options – the best can often pick and choose between contract work offers. It’s important that, in lieu of sick and holiday leave, you can offer an attractive package to entice proven and high potential contractors in your industry.

An attractive package doesn’t have to mean remuneration, although a good rate should be a cornerstone of your offering. You can consider offering any staff discounts or corporate partnerships to temp workers or include perks like a travel allowance.

5. How stable is our business/industry?

Hiring contractors are proven to be especially beneficial during periods of instability, when the future of your business or industry isn’t clear.

If the economic climate means your business is going through a transitional phase or your industry is changing, hiring contract employees could give you the flexibility you need to stay competitive, without having to invest in permanent staff.

6. How urgently do we need to hire?

Contractors have the benefit of being available for an immediate start and can skip the time involved in getting sign-off for a new permanent staff member.

When you need to fill a staff gap quickly, it’s important that there’s an established and ongoing relationship with a recruitment agency that understands your business and can provide contractors or temporary workers at short notice.

Michael Page has pre-qualified, highly talented temps and contractors ready to step in immediately. Contact us today to connect with the top contractors in your industry.

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