Why Hire a Contractor?

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We all know contractors, don't we?

Well, perhaps not personally. But most of us will have an idea in our head. Generally, we think of them as hordes of builders who make visions of our dream extension, home, or office eventually come true. Because if you want something built and you have no experience of building, you’re not going to try and do it yourself, are you? That would be a) borderline insane, b) outrageously time-consuming and c) in all likelihood a massive disappointment. 

While most of us are aware that attempting to build a home without the appropriate skills is not an option, it’s only in recent years that we’ve started to see that the same rule applies in other walks of the working world too. Contractors (or as they’re popularly known, ‘freelancers’), are increasingly commonplace and can be incredibly useful for your business. Here’s why.

You can use them for one-off jobs.

If you need your company website to be redesigned, you’re only really going to need someone to do that for a limited period of time, because, well, once the job's done, the job’s done. Luckily, a contractor will expect you to specify a clear end date for their contract, rather than have you keep them on, twiddling their thumbs for years on end.

They have specific expertise.

Hiring someone for your business with a long-term view has its benefits, but it also has its pitfalls. You need to smile, grit your teeth and knuckle down to mentor them, nurture them, train them, and basically whip up this unformed batter of a new-starter into a piping hot brand ambassador for your business. In order for them to flourish on a personal level and mesh with your culture on an organisational level, it’s a recipe that you need to get just right. However, none of that really applies with contractors. They arrive ready-made, armed with an arsenal of prior knowledge and experience that will make you want to weep with relief. 

No need for PAYE or National Insurance Contribution Admin

Your accounts and admin team will appreciate this nice little bonus. When you hire an employee on a permanent basis, there can be a fair bit of faff getting them on the payroll, dotting i’s and crossing all those pesky little t’s. Contractors, meanwhile, tend to manage their own invoices, making things that bit easier for the rest of your business. 

It lets the rest of your staff focus on BAU.

Your employees have each been hired to do a specific role, remember? That’s what they signed up for… so really, it’s more than a little unfair to give them responsibilities which are well outside their job description. If you reckon your office décor needs an overhaul that’s fine – but that’s a job for an interior designer. Don’t make your favourite accountant resign (and probably ruin your office aesthetic) by forcing the finance team to select swatches for the new colour scheme in reception!

They can provide temporary cover.

And guess what, they won’t complain about it, because that’s exactly what they’re used to. If a member of your team is on sick leave, maternity leave, (or any sort of leave that’s not going to roll on forever, for that matter), a contractor is the sensible solution to ensure business continues to run as seamlessly as possible.

While we might have titled this piece ‘why hire a contractor?’, the key takeaway here is really ‘why wouldn’t you hire a contractor?’ From time to time, every business will need a bit of no-strings-attached outside expertise – so count yourself lucky that there’s a whole world of it at your fingertips.

 

Credit: Clare Toner