The world, especially the tech world, continues to embrace gig work (temporary or contracting jobs). It reduces overhead, gives both the company and the contractor flexibility, and creates a more diverse team. In this blog post, we’ll be examining some statistics that show the prevalence of contracting, explain why contractors are a solution to the persistent and ever-growing technological skills gap, and listing the benefits an employer can expect to receive when working with contractors and staffing firms.
Whether you realize it or not, contract work is a major player in the US workforce. According to the American Staffing Association, America’s staffing companies hire nearly 15 million temporary or contract workers a year. In fact, there are more than 3 million temporary and contract employees at work for America’s staffing companies during an average week. That means there’s a good chance one of your friends, colleagues, or family members is working as a contractor – or has at some point during their career. However, just because one starts at a client as a contractor doesn’t mean they’ll end that way. According to the same ASA study, more than one-third (35%) of contract workers were offered a permanent position by the client for whom they worked the assignment for – and two-thirds accepted!
So what do these statistics allude to? In short, utilizing contract workers is a great way to lure talent. Not only is working as a contractor beneficial to the contractor themselves (The Many Benefits of Contract Work) but it also helps to solve a major problem facing the IT industry today, the IT skills gap.
Contracting as a Solution to the IT Skills Gap
As mentioned in our previous client blog post, “Addressing the IT Skills Gap,” the IT skills gap is a problem plaguing the IT industry as it causes a loss of revenue, wages, and opportunity. And this problem will continue to persist if employers refuse to embrace the gig economy and contractors.
Here’s an example to illustrate this problem. Let’s say an employer wants to hire a Data Scientist who can code in Python, R, and SAS, and who is also an experienced business professional who can lead and manage teams. While that person may exist, they don’t exactly grow on trees. This eventually results in the position (need) going unfilled for months – only adding pressure to the existing team and widening the skills gap even further.
Instead of searching for that unicorn, businesses can and should consider utilizing contract workers to help bridge the gap. For one, because you aren’t dealing with any of the overhead cost associated with a full-time hire (something we’ll mention shortly) you may be able to split the position into two. One person can handle the coding while the other tackles the business-side of the role. And two, since the roles aren’t permanent, there may be greater flexibility to consider and bring on remote workers – which will only serve to deepen the talent pool. As a result, your projects are being manned and worked on, lessening the load and stress levels of your current team and allowing for your projects to stay on-time and under budget.
The Benefits to Utilizing Contractors
We’ve addressed the benefits to contract work as they relate to employers (utilizing staffing firms) in a previous blog post, “The Benefits of Partnering with a Staffing Firm.” But these benefits are so bountiful for the employer that they’re worth mentioning again. They are:
- Low Overhead – Because staffing firms employ the employees (contractors) they assign to clients, they’re the ones responsible for paying wages, taxes (e.g. Social Security and unemployment), and a variety of employee benefits. You’re only on the hook for the hourly rate negotiated with the staffing firm.
- Quicker Hires – By utilizing the services of a trusted staffing partner, businesses don’t have to waste time sifting through hundreds of resumes, reaching out to job seekers, and scheduling interviews. They can instead let their staffing partners vet and supply the candidates to them.
- Workforce Flexibility – Working with staffing firms allows businesses to remain fully staffed during busy times. Whether the job lasts a few months or several years, staffing firms and contractors allow businesses to adjust their workplaces to meet their changing needs.
- Trial Runs – Instead of making a costly full-time hire and risking the employee not working out, you can take a “trial run” with the contractor on a contract-to-hire basis. Not only is this option less risky for the employer, it also allows them to see firsthand if the employee is both the right technological and cultural fit for their organization.
Partner with PSCI for Your Contracting Needs
In closing, partnering with a staffing firm, such as PSCI, can be a powerful business strategy. For as long as the need for temporary and contract workers remains in demand, which all indicators seem to suggest it will, businesses will be relying on staffing firms to help them find employable talent. And there’s no organization better to partner with than PSCI. As an organization who has been in business for the past 25+ years, not only do we have the industry knowledge and personal connections with IT professionals, but we also possess the wherewithal to meet all of your contracting needs. So CONTACT US today!
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