Contractors or full-time employees for software engineering projects? The very short answer is - it depends. There are many factors to consider while deciding which route a company that develops software should take.
One thing I know from hundreds of interactions with companies developing software is that engaging with contractors often proves to be a game-changer. Not only is it often more cost-effective, but it can also be a more straightforward and quick process.
Today, I’ll be glad to share the 5 main advantages that the companies we work with are benefiting from by hiring contractors:
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1. Saving time
Just imagine skipping the hundreds of hours spent posting job listings on various job boards, screening resumes, interviewing, technical testing and more. By opting for getting on board contractors provided by a serious tech recruitment agency, companies skip the line and gain access in no time to pre-vetted professionals, skilled in their domains, allowing them to ramp up and contribute to project milestones quickly. Their wealth of experience facilitates seamless integration into existing teams, thereby accelerating the pace of development and achieving product milestones.
2. Optimising costs
Instead of hiring long-term employees, which can result in higher overhead costs, companies choose to work with contractors for specific projects. This approach provides more flexibility in managing budgets and allocating resources efficiently. On one hand, hiring contractors relieves employers of the responsibility to manage employment taxes, health insurance coverage, retirement benefits, and other expenses typically associated with full-time workers. On the other hand, organisations have the flexibility to compensate contractors solely for the actual number of hours worked to achieve specific project goals, freeing core employees from tasks that might otherwise hinder their productivity.
“Cutting headcount costs while still finding great software engineers is possible with index.dev” - Olivier Mayot, CTO at SimpliField
3. Access to global High-Performing Tech Talent
Why limit your options to local tech resources when you can access talent from anywhere worldwide? Hiring a contractor allows companies to tap into a vast pool of tech experts with specialised knowledge in niche technologies and programming languages. This can improve the overall quality and efficiency of the project. In addition, working with contractors offers flexibility in scaling and enhancing the project.
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4. Outside perspective
We’ve seen many cases when companies were stuck to bring on board new solutions and ideas to enhance their software development. By expanding their teams and hiring contractors, they could gain an external viewpoint on the development process, fostering innovation and fresh ideas. These external experts often offer insights and alternative approaches that internal teams may not have considered, leading to more creative and effective solutions. Additionally, contractors often bring diverse industry experiences, allowing companies to benefit from best practices and successful strategies from other fields. Embracing an outside perspective can ultimately lead to improved problem-solving and the development of cutting-edge software products.
"If you're a recruiting leader in 2023 and you don't have a decent mix of contingent talent, you'll be more risk-exposed to whatever the future brings — good and bad. You need some elasticity so you can flex up or down as needed.” Stephen Lochhead, SVP of Global Talent Acquisition at Expedia
Besides the above benefits, engaging contractors gives companies greater flexibility in scaling their workforce and resource allocation. As software project demands fluctuate, contracting allows businesses to scale their workforce up or down quickly, ensuring optimal efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Contractors can be brought in for specific phases or tasks, allowing teams to access specialised expertise precisely when needed. Moreover, by engaging contractors, companies can maintain a lean core team and avoid the long-term commitments and administrative overhead associated with full-time employees, allowing for greater adaptability in a highly dynamic and over-competitive market.
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In a world where staying ahead of the competition is paramount, employing contractors is a strategic choice for software companies seeking to achieve their goals efficiently, cost-effectively, and with a keen eye for innovation. By adopting this approach, businesses stand to reap numerous benefits, including increasing efficiency, greater agility in navigating uncertainties, and enhanced performance in their software projects. By harnessing the advantages outlined in this article, businesses can position themselves for success, confidently navigate uncertainties, and drive their software projects towards excellence.