Dan, the IT Recruitment Consultant comes from an extensive recruitment back filling these very roles, read all about the benefits and misconceptions of developer and designer contractors. We've taken an interesting outlook on contractor recruitment which includes Squirrels and Lobsters.
The IT recruitment market is in an interesting place at the moment, particularly for developers and those looking to hire them. It's like having an abundance of acorns and not having enough squirrels to eat them. Oh, and the very few squirrels that are around don't like acorns and want lobster instead.
Let's put this into context.
We're all aware there's a skills shortage in the UK currently. This is very evident if you're trying to hire a good, front-end developer on a permanent basis. You've searched every job board. You've approached every recruitment agency. After looking everywhere bar the gaps in your sofa, you've probably realised that that little squirrel is a rarity and that they most likely aren't interested in a permanent position for £30k when they can earn £300 per day in the contract world. Offering a good contract developer a 30k position is like offering one of those lobster-loving squirrels an acorn. In fact, it's like offering them a really hard, flaky, muddy acorn.
We know what you're thinking.
'But £300 per day is well over my budget.'
'I want someone who will buy into my company's ethos.'
'I can't have a staff member on £300 a day sat next to the rest of my staff on far less.'
'Squirrels like lobster?'
We understand your concerns and they are more than valid, but we're here to try to convince you that hiring contractors is the right move for your business in the IT developer space. At least for the moment. So what are the benefits?
Contractors are expendable (not in a bump-them-off kind of way), and you only need hire them when you have a requirement for that particular skill set. Therefore, when your Magento project is done, you don't have a permanent developer sat twiddling his thumbs for the next month whilst your programme team pull their socks up.
Contractors tend to have dealt with more variables during their career having worked on so many short term projects. This means they're able to adapt quickly to any challenges that crop up. They're also often entrepreneurial having taken the almighty leap into self-employment, so will bring a creative mind-set to you workplace which may also rub off on your current employees.
They receive a high income and will regularly work extra hours during business critical times or to brainstorm solutions for software bug fixes. They're also excellent at working to timeframes.
As an employer, you don't have the same red tape and commitments that you do when hiring a perm staff member. Contractors, particularly those with their own limited company, are pretty self-sufficient, handle all their own taxes and only get paid for time worked, not time off (holidays etc.).
Their reputation is everything. One bad reference from a past hiring manager can be the difference between getting a new contract and being out of work for 6 months. Therefore, they ensure they keep up-to-date with the latest technologies so that their work reflects well on them and they remain employable. They're like artists, only less flamboyant and with baggier pants.
Ultimately, we all want a permanent workforce that can grow with our business. But while we all wait for that utopian dream, many people overlook the many advantages of contract hires. High day rates put employers off, but they often fail to consider how much a vacancy that remains open for a year costs their business. A good contractor will offer you a great work rate, flexibility, autonomy and an entrepreneurial insight. What's not to love?