June 13, 2022

In an Uncertain Market, Should You Hire Contract or Contract-to-Hire Employees

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As we recently covered, a “perfect storm” of a coming recession is currently brewing. The elements include rising interest rates, inflation and a slowing housing market. Nothing’s for certain, but in volatile times, you may be wondering how to sustain a strong workforce while you protect your bottom line.

One available option is to hire contract or contract-to-hire employees. While full-time staff members require more resources to train, onboard and retain, contract and contract-to-hire workers can enable your business to be agile amid changing markets. Here’s what to consider.

What Are the Differences Between Contract and Contract-to-Hire Staff?

You can learn all about what defines a contract or contract-to-hire employee in our recent whitepaper. To break it down, these roles are defined as:

  • Contract staff: Contract employees are hired to work for an agreed-upon, short period of time, generally ranging from 3 months to 2 years. . These employees are hired to work on specific projects, support full-time staff who aren’t able to keep up with work demand and support delayed hiring for full-time positions that budgets are not solidified
  • Contract-to-hire staff: Contract-to-hire roles are created to bring on employees temporarily, with the intent to evaluate the worker at the end of their contract to determine if they’re worthy of being hired full-time. Think of contract-to-hire roles like professional auditions. You can analyze the employee to make sure their skills meet the role demands and confirm they’re a culture fit for your business.

Since both contract and contract-to-hire positions are not permanent, at least initially, this provides your business with more flexible hiring options. You’re not committed to keeping on the employee if they don’t work out for your company. You can save on paying out benefits in the short-term and can re-evaluate your budget and capabilities once the contract ends.

How to Scale Contract Work in an Uncertain Market

The rise of the contractor labor market has also made more professionals open to work in contractor or contract-to-hire roles. In September 2021, Statista reported there were 13.6 million contractor employees in the U.S. in 2020. That’s an increase from 9.6 million in 2010.

Some contractors work remotely, while some work in offices alongside full-time professionals. How you configure contract job descriptions is up to you. You can create contract positions when you want to:

  • Support your full-time staff during busy seasons
  • Hire many workers at once, but test them out on a trial basis first
  • Supplement your team with specific skills and talents

AccruePartners helps businesses in diverse industries hire contractors and contract-to-hire roles. Some examples of these positions include:

To identify the departments in your company that can support contract work, look at the needs of your staff and what your departmental budget is. Many companies bring on contractors because their workers are in danger of being burned out. That’s a serious risk, as employee turnover can cause bigger headaches for your business.

If you know you ideally want to make room for full-time, permanent hires, offering a contract-to-hire position can help protect your business. Talk with your leadership teams and your full-time employees to learn what support they need. You may determine a contract role makes the most sense.

As contractors help you win new business or achieve company objectives, you can scale contract work by adding new positions or by creating permanent roles for stand-out contractors.

How to Decide Whether a Contract or a Contract-to-Hire Is Right for Your Company

Contract and contract-to-hire roles may be an ideal solution for your business in an uncertain market. They can help with unexpected workload fluctuations. They typically don’t require as much training and onboarding time as a full-time employee. You have a clear understanding of how long they’ll be with your company. Once the contract ends, you can regroup and pivot.

There are also some pitfalls to be aware of with contract and contract-to-hire employees. Since they’re not permanent staff, they may not provide the same level of dedication or effort as your full-time workers. In a contract role, these professionals may be on the hunt for their next position, so you’ll need to put in extra effort to retain their talent if you choose to do so.

In uncertain markets, diversifying your workforce with contract and contract-to-hire roles could benefit your company. If you’re interested in exploring these options, contact AccruePartners. We can help guide you through the hiring process to ensure your business has the exact support it needs to navigate any market conditions.

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